Professor John Spencer from the University of Sussex visited the Chemistry department to give a lecture titled Tackling Cancer - How Drugs Work. The fascinating talk covered a broad range of topics related to Chemistry and Biology, mainly focusing on how common chemotherapy drugs attack cancerous tumours, and their effects.
Professor Spencer also explained the evolution of cancer treatment as we know it – starting with the traditional methods of ‘cut, poison, burn’ and the use of chemical agents like sulphur mustard to kill tumour cells; then moving onto the more differentiating drugs that were developed from such deadly poisons. We were also shown an interactive display illustrating how some chemotherapy agents bind to their respective active sites and receptors in the body, which highlighted why these agents have such focused effects on individual aspects of the cancer cell.
Russell Woodger, Lower Sixth