Possible medical breakthroughs were discussed at TTUHSC Research Day

Amarillo, TX - Local doctors say melanoma and breast cancer have the biggest impact in our area -- with numbers constantly on the rise.

At Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center's School of Pharmacy's Research day, several projects were presented that could help cure some of these diseases.

Doctor Ruiwen Zhang shared what he thinks could help cure breast cancer.

"It's a new herbal medicine that can be used for fighting breast cancer. The research in my group have found a natural compound that are in plants," said Zhang. 

This new compound would attack and stop a cancer causing gene known as MDM2. Patients with high levels of MDM2 in cancer tissue tend to have poor response to radiation treatment and a poor prognosis for survival.

"This compound would prevent breast cancer and also prevent recurrence," said Zhang. 

Doctor Zhang isn't the only one trying to make a break through in a potentially deadly disease. Several other local doctors shared their research to find a cure for different diseases at the Research Day.

"This way they not only share their findings with other researchers but also they look for the collaboration," said Professor of Biomedical Science at TTUHSC, Dr. Sanjay Srivastava. 

Over 70 research projects were presented with possible breakthroughs in Brain Cancer, Alzheimers, and Pneumonia, but just like doctor Zhang many researchers focused on ways to fight breast cancer.

"We see about 300 hundred new breast cancers every year in the Panhandle," said Director of Breast Center of Excellence at TTUHSC Dr. Rakhshanda Layeequrrahman. 

Layeequrrahamn also says she sees many women who are in the late stages of cancer.

Many of these researchers say it could take over 20 years for a research drug to be FDA approved, but this event is a great opportunity for doctors to collaborate with each other to shorten that time.

The research day continues tomorrow. Anyone with questions on some of the topics of research can call the TTUHSC's Pharmacy School at (806) 354-5463.