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B. Anti-cancer Effects Discovered in Drug for Skin Infections

Narrator: This is Science Today. Researchers at the University of California , Santa Barbara have found that a drug previously used to treat skin infections has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Leslie Wilson, a professor of biochemistry and pharmacology, says the anti-fungal drug is called griseofulvin.

Wilson: The work that we've done on griseofulvin points to the possibility that this drug, which has been used for a long time in humans to treat fungal cell diseases in skin could be potentially useful in combination therapy or as an adjuvant for treating cancer.

Narrator: Wilson, who stresses their work is basic science and has yet to be tested in clinical trial, says griseofulvin's anti-cancer effects are similar to, but much weaker than, the potent anti-cancer drug Taxol.

Wilson : The big plus here is that if it can be shown in clinical trials to be useful and to continue to have the low toxicity associated with it, it could be quite valuable.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.