New Drug Treatments
One of our primary interests in cancer research is to find new potential anticancer agents from natural products. We have a particular interest in a novel chemical called hypericin which comes from plants in the Hypericum genus. Hypericum perforatum, commonly known as St. Johnswort, is a hardy drought-resistant plant that grows in Nevada and Northern California. It is rich in medicinal folklore history and is an abundant source of hypericin.
Hypericin is light-activated and therefore a potential drug for photodynamic therapy of cancer. We have demonstrated hypericin's light-activated anticancer activity by treating experimental tumors with the drug. The chemotherapeutic activity is realized when light is shined directly upon the tumor cells. In this way, we hope to find preferential activation and toxicity in the tumor and to minimize toxic side effects in the rest of the body. This new exciting type of therapy offers hope in the fight against cancer.
The Cancer Research Laboratory receives support from the State of Nevada through the Allie M. Lee Cancer Research Fund. Significant support is also received from private donors, memorial funds and the successful fund-raising efforts of civic groups like the Grand Chapter of Nevada, Order of the Eastern Star and the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. All private monies donated to the Cancer Research Laboratory are unique in that they go directly to research. No administrative or overhead costs are deducted. This assures that private donations are used in their entirety in the fight against cancer.
The Cancer Research Laboratory and Reno Cancer Center Athymic "nude" Mouse Facility is located in the Howard Medical Sciences Building at the University of Nevada, Reno. This modern facility is housed in the Department of Biochemistry at the School of Medicine Complex provides an educational environment where research professors, lab technicians, post-doctoral fellows and students work together utilizing established pre-clinical models to solve problems in cancer research.
All donations to the Cancer Research Laboratory are used in their entirety for research to further the treatment of cancer. No administrative or overhead costs are deducted. Contributions to the Cancer Research Laboratory are tax deductible to the extent authorized by law and can be sent to:
University of Nevada, Reno
Cancer Research Gifts
Reno, NV 89557
Make checks payable to:
Board of Regents: Cancer Gifts Acct # 1301-152-0020
Acknowledgments of memorial gifts to the surviving parties will be made at the request of the donor.
If you have questions regarding our work at the Cancer Research Laboratory, please contact us at:
University of Nevada, Reno
Cancer Research Laboratory
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology/ 330
Reno, Nevada 89557