The human body is made up of trillions of cells. In order to maintain the normal functions, the growth, maturation, reproduction and death of each cell are regulated strictly. The onset of cancer begins with the collapse of this orderly process, causing abnormal cell differentiation and perpetual proliferation. Left unchecked, the tumor will infiltrate the surrounding tissues and can metastasize to other organs through the blood or lymphatic system, forming new tumors away from the primary site.
Normal cells grow and mature into different cell types with specific functions according to their respective genetic instructions and influence of the environment. However, cancer cells will almost never mature, and can ignore the signals that notify them to stop splitting and the programs that cause their apoptosis. They can evade the monitoring and pursuit of the body's native immune system. Cancer cells are also capable of inducing normal cells nearby to form blood vessels, so as to provide the oxygen and nutrients needed for the unrestricted growth of the tumor as well as waste removal. Moreover, the inherent genetic instability of cancers make them agile adaptors toward the assault of therapeutic agents, giving the mutated subpopulation resisting to treatment a chance to dominate.
Leveraging the increasing understanding of tumor characteristics and microenvironment at molecular and tissue levels, and modern medicinal chemistryl tools, we are committed to discovering small molecular drugs that can disrupt the signal transduction pathways through the precision control of the phosphorylation status of proteins pivotal to tumor proliferation and metastasis.