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Molecular fingerprint of breast-cancer drug resistance can predict response to treatment
By Dross at 2007-09-25 00:09

Barcelona, Spain: A way of predicting which patients will respond well to treatment with a common chemotherapyterm drug used in breast cancer was unveiled at the European Cancer Conference (ECCO 14) today (Monday 24 September). Dr Iain Brown, from the University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, told the conference that he and his colleague, Dr Andrew Schofield, had identified two genes that could identify which cells would be resistant and which would respond to docetaxel.

Docetaxel is one of the most effective chemotherapy treatments in advanced breast cancer. It works by binding to cell components called microtubules, and stabilising them so that they do not disassemble. They then accumulate within the cell and bring about apoptosis, or cell death. “However, up to half of all patients treated with this drug will develop resistance, and hence the treatment will fail,” said Dr Brown.

read more | 2 comments | 1297 reads

Phase II Clinical Trial of Cytogens QUADRAMET with PSA-TRICOM Initiated for Hormone-Refractory Prostate Cancer Patients
By HCat at 2007-03-06 10:40

    At the beginning of March with the sponsorship of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Cytogen Corporation it has initiated a randomized Phase II study to evaluate QUADRAMET (samarium Sm-153 lexidronam injection) in combination with PSA-TRICOM from the National Institute of Health (NIH). The patient base is for those who have failed docetaxel-based regimens.

    The study will determine if QUADRAMET alone or in combination with PSA-TRICOM can improve 4-month progression-free survival (PFS). There is currently no protocol for treatment of hormone-refractory patients who have advanced on docetaxel regimens.

    In April 2006, NCI researchers presented results of a preclinical study at the 97th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. The study, "Use of Samarium-153 (QUADRAMET) to modulate phenotype and enhance killing of tumor cells" demonstrated that exposure to QUADRAMET resulted in up-regulation of surface molecules on cancer cells, including Fas (CD95), carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), mucin 1 (MUC-1), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1 or CD54), and major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-1). Each of the five molecules evaluated in the study has been implicated in enhancing anti-tumor T-cell responses through diverse mechanisms.

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Antisoma Drug Found Effective in Hormone-Refractory Prostate Cancer Phase II Trial
By HCat at 2007-02-24 10:42

    Antisoma, a London based company, announced at the ASCO Prostate Cancer Symposium positive phase II trial interim results in hormone-refractory prostate cancer patients in a combination treatment with AS1404. The results showed that PSA response rates were higher in the AS1404-docetaxel combination (57%) than with docetaxel alone (35%). Time to tumor progression and survival data will be reported later in the year, but current data shows that the frequency of PSA progression was halved in the AS1404-docetaxel combination versus docetaxel alone (17% versus 29%). Safety statistics indicate no significant increase in side-effects from AS1404.

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TAX 324 Phase III Study Shows Docetaxel Increases Survival in Head, Neck Cancer
By HCat at 2007-02-14 02:20

    Marshall R. Posner, MD, medical director of the Head and Neck Oncology Program at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston reported at the 2006 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) on the randomized Phase III TAX 324 Study Group. 501 patients with locally advanced squamous cell carcinomaterm of the head and neck (SCCHN) (oral cavity, oropharynx, larynx and hypopharynx) were the focus of the study.


    In the study, patients receiving docetaxel in combination with cisplatin and 5-FUterm as induction (neoadjuvant) therapy, followed by chemoradiotherapy and surgery were compared to those not receiving docetaxel. The results showed an impressive 70.6 months median overall survival in patients who took docetaxel compared to 30.1 months for those not receiving docetaxel in their treatment. There was a 30% reduction in mortality rate for those patients receiving docetaxel. There was an absolute three-year survival improvement of 14% in the docetaxel group as well. Progression-free survival (PFS) was also significantly greater with the docetaxel regimen with two-year PFS at 53% compared to 42%.

read more | 5512 reads

Advanced Transitional Cell Carcinoma treatment with Docetaxel and Gemcitabine Phase II study
By HCat at 2007-01-10 06:06

    Transitional cell carcinomaterm (TCC) of the urothelium (these are epithelial cells that mainly line the urinary tract) is usually treated with a combination regimen of methotrexate/vinblastine/doxorubicine/cisplatin (known as M-VAC). Recent reports from a phase III trial showed that M-VAC versus gemcitabine plus cisplatin (GC) had similar response rates, time to progression and overall survival. However, GC was less toxic than M-VAC and the need for overall survival improvement needed to be increased. This article presents a phase II study of a combination of gemcitabine and docetaxel. Gemcitabine [Gemzar from Eli Lilly] is a DNA analogue that inhibits DNA synthesis ultimately leading to cell death. Docetaxel [Taxotere from Sanofi Aventis] is a paclitaxel analogue that stabilizes tubulin ultimately preventing cellular division and leading to cell death. These two drugs are thought to have a synergistic effect. That is, the combination effect of the two drugs is greater than that predicted from the effects from single drug therapy.

    The trial included 34 patients with advanced TCC that was unresectable for cure or had measurable metastasistermterm were non-randomly selected with primary tumor sites being 26 bladder, 5 kidney, and 3 ureter. 7 patients had previous chemotherapyterm (21%). 82% had previous surgery to remove the primary tumor, with 20 patients having some form of metastasis. Haematologic (blood) toxicity was common during treatment (24% in some side effectsterm). A complete response (CR) was seen in 2 patients (5.8%) where all lesions or growths disappeared. A partial response (PR) was seen in 16 patients where the lesion or growth size was decreased by 30% or more. This gave an overall response rate (OR) of 53%. One aspect the study noted was a shift in the distribution of gemcitabine from the plasmid to the red blood cells (RBC).
One part the researchers note in the study is the high OR rate. Other studies of this combination of drug have shown OR rates of 17% as a second line and 33% as a first line of treatment. The researchers suggests the reason for the better response rate in their study is their study has a larger number of patients who have never been treated with chemo drugs (chemotherapy-naïve) and has a more favorable drug administration schedule.

read more | 4023 reads

Prostate Cancer Basics
By HCat at 2007-01-07 02:11

The Androgen Receptor

   The Androgen Receptor (AR) is a protein inside of certain cells that can bind or capture the androgen hormones testosterone and the more active metabolite 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Once the receptor binds one of the hormones, it causes the receptor to become active and stimulate production of certain proteins inside cells such as PSA.

It is known that AR is required for the normal development of the prostate. If a male animal has no AR, then the prostate will not be created of will be very small when he is born.

read more | 25711 reads

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