Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Early Clinical Trials Show That Novel Experimental Drug Shrinks Tumors in Patients with Various Types of Cancer

02.06.2003


As more is learned about how cancer develops, scientists have begun designing new drugs that directly target cancer cells, leaving healthy ones intact. Having fewer side effects, some of these drugs work by blocking growth signaling processes within cancer cells, while others enlist the body’s immune system to recognize and mount an attack against the cancer cell. But regardless of how they work, most of these drugs are designed to treat a specific cancer and cannot be used to treat other tumor types.

Now, an early clinical trial at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has shown that an experimental drug called 2C4 (trade name is Omnitarg) was effective to shrink tumors in patients with several different types of cancer. The findings, presented at the 39th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago, may lead to a new way to treat various types of cancer.

"What’s interesting is that this drug effectively shrank tumors in several completely different types of cancer in early stage clinical trials," said David Agus, M.D., Research Director at the Cedars-Sinai Prostate Cancer Center and first author of the study. "This tells us that the drug targets a growth signaling pathway in cancer cells that is common in many solid tumors."



The drug, called 2C4 and developed by Genentech, Inc., is a monoclonal antibody, or protein that enlists the body’s immune system to attack foreign invaders, such as viruses or bacteria. It works by targeting HER-2/neu, a member of the HER kinase family of proteins. The protein sits on the surface of cancer cells and receives signals from growth factor molecules within the HER family, which in, turn stimulate tumors to grow.

But earlier research in Dr. Agus’ laboratory indicated that 2C4 was not limited to targeting HER-2/neu alone and blocked signaling activity among the entire HER network of proteins in both breast and prostate cancer tumors grown in mice. These findings led the investigators to begin the first clinical trial to test the safety and effectiveness of the drug in patients with other types of solid-tumor cancers.

In the study, 21 patients with advanced cancers including breast, prostate, lung, ovarian, colon, pancreas and sarcoma received 2C4 by infusion every three weeks at a dose level ranging between 0.5 and 15 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. Among these patients, 19 completed at least two cycles or six weeks of treatment with 2C4, while two died at the outset of treatment due to complications of their disease. The investigators found that eight or 42 percent of the 19 patients treated with 2C4, responded to treatment either because their tumors shrank over 50 percent, or because their tumors stopped growing for a given time period before their disease progressed. (Cedars-Sinai IRB No. 3691)

Of the 19 patients who received 2C4, three achieved partial remission as measured by shrinkage of their tumors by over 50 percent. These included one patient with ovarian cancer, who received 5 mg/kg of 2C4; one with prostate cancer, who received 15 mg/kg of 2C4; and one patient with a pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer who received 15 mg/kg of 2C4. Two of these patients (ovarian and pancreatic cancer) remain in remission and have been receiving 2C4 for over a year since beginning therapy.

"To see results that show activity in a Phase I safety trial is remarkable, especially since these patients were in the advanced stages of their disease and had no other treatment options available to them," said Dr. Agus. "This is especially exciting as there was little drug related toxicity or side effects associated with this treatment." v In addition, the investigators report that five additional patients’ disease stabilized for at least three months after just two treatment cycles with 2C4. These patients included three with cancers of the prostate, one with non-small cell lung cancer and one with ovarian cancer.

"Targeting a pathway, rather than a tumor type, is an exciting new area in the treatment of cancer, and 2C4 is one of several experimental drugs that show how this treatment strategy can benefit patients," commented Dr. Agus.

A Phase II clinical trial with 2C4 started in May, 2003 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to evaluate the effectiveness of the drug in patients with advanced cancers of the prostate, (Cedars-Sinai IRB No. 4100-01) and is scheduled to be open for ovarian cancer patients in June.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is one of the largest non-profit academic medical centers in the Western United States. For the fifth straight two-year period, Cedars-Sinai has been named Southern California’s gold standard in health care in an independent survey. Cedars-Sinai is internationally renowned for its diagnostic and treatment capabilities and its broad spectrum of programs and services, as well as breakthroughs in biomedical research and superlative medical education. Named one of the 100 "Most Wired" hospitals in health care in 2001, the Medical Center ranks among the top 10 non-university hospitals in the nation for its research activities.

Kelli Stauning | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour
24.05.2018 | Arizona State University

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>