Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have discovered that a drug derived from the evergreen tree could save the lives of some patients with the deadliest form of breast cancer.

The new drug is named trastuzumab-DM1, and is a synthetic derivative of maytansine, a molecule found in an evergreen tree in the genera Maytenus, which grows on several continents.

The drug works by targeting the microtubules of cancer cells, the dynamic, rapidly growing and shortening protein filaments that help cells to divide and multiply (UCSB).

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