In the past decades, cancer has surpassed many other diseases to become the current second leading cause of death globally, with one in six people dying from it. This concerning position has given it a unique and ubiquitous position in global culture, so much so that finding a cure for cancer is considered one of the most noble things any person can do. Sadly, humanity hasn’t arrived at this cure yet; tons of research is being conducted to explore every angle of cancer, trying to find a weakness.
A group of scientists from the Tokyo University of Science, led by Prof Kouji Kuramochi, has also been dedicated to this mission. In their search for a weapon against cancer, they turned to a specific set of organic compounds called “phenazines.” Phenazines are a large group of nitrogen-containing “heterocycles” (or compounds with a ring structure composed of at least two different elements).