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June 18, 2005

New anti-cancer drug shows promising results

From Medical News Today:

Promising results from the UK's first clinical trial of a prototype cancer drug have raised the prospect of an effective new treatment against a range of cancers, including breast, prostate, bowel, kidney, ovarian and skin cancer.

...the research reveals the drug's ability to attack cancer cells on a number of fronts at the same time, and gives the first indication that it may have the potential to halt the disease in patients.

The Cancer Research UK funded trial was carried out by Institute of Cancer Research scientists at The Royal Marsden Hospital. The drug was provided by the National Cancer Institute in the US under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the US biotech company, Kosan Biosciences Inc.

The research team already knew that the drug - labelled 17AAG - selectively and potently blocks the growth of a wide range of common cancer cells in the laboratory, causing them to 'commit suicide'.

This new study confirmed that it also works biochemically as intended in patients with a variety of cancer types. Clinical results in two patients with malignant melanoma provide early evidence that the drug may be able to tackle cancers that are resistant to other drugs.

Further trials, each looking at patients with a specific tumour type, are planned to establish the extent of the drug's treatment potential in different kinds of cancer.

This sounds promising, and I'm sure there are lots of cancer patients eagerly waiting for trials to begin here in the US. For those who are unfamiliar with some of the terminology, once a cancer drug or treatment passes an initial stage, it' opened up for “trials” which means it will be tested on people with cancer, meeting certain requirements. Since cancer kills so many people, those with cancer search out trials to volunteer for in order to possibly get one that will remove the cancer. There are even web sites to help patients find the trials that match their criteria, located close to where they live.

Coverage: HyScience

Posted by Danny Carlton at June 18, 2005 08:13 AM

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