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  Neil Beeharry


The overt differences between ‘normal’ cells and cancerous cells are minimal which makes the design and application of ‘cancer cell-specific’ therapies especially challenging. Many of the common drugs used to treat many cancers target mitosis by blocking the formation of the mitotic spindle. Targeting the mitotic phase of the cell cycle y is thought to be particularly advantageous due to the high replicative rate of tumor cells. The taxanes (paclitaxel), which act to stabilize microtubules, and the vinca alkaloids, (vinblastine or vincristine) which inhibit the polymerization of tubulin, are commonly used as ‘first line’ therapy for the treatment of ovarian and many other cancers. Furthermore, taxol is the drug of choice in patients resistant to platinum compound based therapies. Nonetheless, many patients relapse, indicating that tumor cell resistance is a major obstacle to effective treatment. Many questions remain about the precise mechanisms of anti-mitotic drugs and resistance. The importance of the integrity of the mitotic checkpoint, in the context of human cancers, is highlighted by the findings that many cancer cells exhibit an impaired mitotic checkpoint and by-pass a mitotic arrest in response to microtubule disrupting drug treatment. One of the aims of this project is to understand why agents that disrupt microtubule dynamics are effective in killing some tumor cells, but refractive in others. 










Postdoctoral fellow


Fox Chase Cancer Center
7701 Burholme Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19111

Lab tel.: 215 728-4311
Fax: 215 728-2412


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