Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Anatomy and Cell Biology


Dr. Anthony Nichols


Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the sixth most common cancer worldwide and despite advancements in traditional therapies, the survival rate of ~40% remains unchanged, thus highlighting the need for novel treatments in HNSCC. High throughput robotic screening of a panel of HNSCC cell lines was carried out against 1,505 compounds, where drug activity was measured using metabolic agent alamarBlue and quantified by percent activity. Initial screening found that the majority of active compounds could be grouped based upon their cellular target(s) and/or function including: cell cycle regulation, cytoskeleton disruption, and DNA topoisomerase function. Potency was confirmed with dose response curves for 23 hit compounds and ER27319 maleate and NSC146109 hydrochloride were selected for further investigation. ER27319 maleate was observed to control tumour growth in vivo. This systematic high throughput screen of large panels of drugs identified a multitude of potentially effective agents for the treatment of HNSCC.