12 thoughts on “D42 – Forward

  1. Even though you have no hits, the survival rates with irradiated larvae are pretty low! How do you think repeat testing of the same dosage vials and a new dilution series would change this outcome?

    1. For the same dosage vials: Because our data pool was relatively small due to time constraints, repeat experiments may prove that some of the survival rates are actually lower on average than what is represented here, possibly resulting in a hit.

      For a new dilution series: The purpose of this experiment would be to try once again to establish a dose response curve, as a 2:1 dilution series couldn’t. It is possible that melittin does get less effective at smaller doses but our doses weren’t small enough to see it. If a chemical operates at either 100% or 0% effectiveness, it’s a poor choice for a chemotherapy since ideally you would be able to administer it to a patient more strongly or more weakly depending on the situation.

  2. Would Melittin be administered as an injection? Or is the term “chemotherapy” in this case used for the fact that it is a chemical substance?

    1. Yes, chemotherapy refers to any chemical method used to treat cancer! Chemotherapies can be administered intravenously; via injections, pills, or creams; or in a number of other ways to treat specific types of cancer. Melittin could theoretically be delivered in any of these ways, but in order to determine the effectiveness you’d have to study its pharmacokinetics (how it moves through the body).

  3. Which one of your future directions do you believe is the most vital for future research of Melittin?

    1. Definitely testing it alongside another chemotherapy, as melittin was shown to really amplify the effects of radiation. A weaker chemotherapy paired with melittin might end up being more effective than either compound on its own while allowing for lower doses of each.

  4. I really appreciate your presentation! How could the change in dilution of the melatonin change your results?

    1. In order for a compound to be considered a promising chemotherapy, we would want to see a dose response curve in which the chemical is less effective at smaller doses so that a doctor could potentially prescribe a dose as needed. Every dose of melittin gave us about the same survival rate, which isn’t ideal. Testing smaller doses of melittin might show us that the effectiveness does drop off eventually, just not at the doses we tested here.

  5. Why does a “hit” have to be 2 standard deviations below the negative control? Why do you think you didn’t get any hits?

    1. If the average survival rate is 2 standard deviations below the negative control, there is a good chance that it’s not just luck or error killing the flies. Only using hits for further study helps save money on more expensive trials that are more likely to fail down the line.

      Melittin is probably just not quite effective enough at killing quickly replicating cells for our purposes. One possible explanation is that the melittin itself isn’t very cytotoxic, and merely kills the cells by forming pores in the membrane that the radiation can get through. This would explain why each dose killed roughly the same amount of flies, since we used the same amount of radiation each time, and why melittin on its own didn’t kill any flies. More experimentation would make this clearer.

  6. Despite the lack of hits, the low survival rates of the irradiated larvae was really interesting! Do you think repeated testing with differing dosages (ie dilutions) would effect the outcomes? If not, do you think modifying Melitin for targeted delivery would increase efficacy?

    1. I think it’s very possible that repeated testing would lead to a different outcome! We only had time for 2 repeats (4 vials total per dose), so the average survival rates would be very easily effected by more data. In the best case scenario, the average survival rates would be a little lower, though it could go either way. It is also possible that melittin is less effective at smaller doses and our doses just weren’t small enough, so testing those smaller doses might also show different results.

      I don’t think targeted delivery would increase its efficacy, but it would decrease melittin’s potential harmful effects on non-cancer cells, which is ideal. Because we were unable to establish a dose at which melittin’s effect lessened, a targeted delivery system would be safer for the patient. That system could be paired with radiation or another chemotherapy, allowing melittin to form pores on only the target cells to let those cytotoxins in.

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