Broad Institute announces new way to find cancer-fighting drugs

From the NYT:

“A team at the Broad Institute, a Harvard-M.I.T. collaborative for genomics research, has devised a way of screening for drugs that attack cancer stem cells but leave ordinary cells unharmed.

The Broad team, lead by Piyush B. Gupta, screened some 16,000 chemicals, including all known chemotherapeutic agents approved by the F.D.A. The team reports in Thursday’s issue of Cell that 32 of the chemicals selectively targeted cancer stem cells. These particular chemicals may or may not make good drugs, but the screening system proves for the first time, the researchers say, that it is possible to target cancer stem cells with drugs that leave ordinary cells alone. Only one of the 32 chemicals is approved as a drug for cancer.”