Snapshot of new drug marks a major advance by Memorial Sloan-Kettering researchers

step in this research," Dr. Finnin said, "is to dissect this complex to understand its function."

"There are a slew of biological problems that remain to be solved," added Dr. Rifkind. "We don't know, for instance, why SAHA influences the activities of only certain genes, and why SAHA is so selective for cancer cells. But we can say that SAHA is a very promising potential drug. And this latest work provides a clear pathway for the development of these agents as substances that can be used to help patients."

The planned clinical trial of SAHA - under the direction of Dr. William Kevin Kelly and Dr. Howard I. Scher, of the Genitourinary Oncology Service, and Dr. David R. Spriggs, of the Developmental Chemotherapy Service - is expected to start this fall. It is a Phase I trial, designed primarily to determine the drug's safety as a cancer treatment and to begin to understand its effects on different types of cancer, including those of the prostate, breast, and lung.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is the world's oldest and largest institution devoted to patient care, research, and education in cancer. Throughout its long, distinguished history, the Center has played a leadership role in defining the standards of care for patients with cancer. In 1999, Memorial Sloan-Kettering was named the nation's best cancer center for the seventh consecutive year by U.S. News & World Report.


Contact: Christine Westerman
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

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