Dutch student's accidental find could improve cancer treatments

TU Eindhoven
TU Eindhoven. ()

A student at Eindhoven University of Technology accidentally discovered a method to make a medicine against breast cancer much cheaper, NU.nl reports.

The student, working under lead researcher Lech-Gustav Milroy, conicidentally discovered that the substance Z-endoxifen, which can be used as a cancer medication, can be made in its pure form in one step. This discovery makes an extra step in the production process superfluous, and therefore makes the production process cheaper.

Groningen company Syncom made a large amount of Z-endoxifen using the new process, and the costs of the production process were a thousand times lower than the price commercial companies charge for the product, according to Milroy. 

The method to produce Z-endoxifen cheaper was discovered in 2011, but was only recently described in magazine Bio-organic & Medicinal Chemistry, according to the newspaper. The substance is not yet on the market as a medicine against breast cancer, but that could happen in the next six to seven years.