Wednesday, 17 March 2010

New cancer treatment gives hope to lymphoma and leukaemia patients

Cancer researchers have high hopes for a new therapy for patients with certain types of lymphoma and leukaemia.

PCI-32765 is a new drug being assessed in a Phase I clinical trial at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Centre in collaboration with the Clinical Division of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).
This is one of 35 such trials under way through a partnership between the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Centre at Scottsdale Healthcare and TGen, which enables molecular and genomic discoveries to reach patients through Phase I trials as quickly as possible.
'Progress in developing new treatments for cancer has been painfully slow as only 2-4 percent of all cancer patients enroll in clinical trials. This is especially true for uncommon cancers such as leukaemia's and lymphomas,' said Dr Raoul Tibes, Director of the Haematological Malignancies Program at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Centre and an Associate Investigator at TGen.
Clinical trials test the safety and effectiveness of new drugs prior to approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Participants are volunteers for whom other cancer treatments have failed. Arizona is one of many states in which clinical trials often are covered by health insurance.
'This study is going very well. It is a very promising agent,'' Dr Tibes said of PCI-32765, which uniquely targets the molecular abnormalities of lymphoma cells. 'This is a recently identified cancer mechanism that we are going after with this drug in lymphoma cells.'

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