Three molecular-targeted compounds show promise against cancers

BOSTON (November 20, 2003) -- Early clinical studies show that a new generation of drugs that target signaling pathways -- the internal channels through which cancer cell growth is controlled -- and the body's own production of tumor-suppressing proteins hold promise for the treatment of a variety of tumors. Patient trials evaluated drug tolerance and potential anti-tumor activity against a variety of cancers such as renal cell, colorectal and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of three compounds. The studies were presented today at the International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics organized by the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), National Cancer Institute (NCI) and European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) in Boston.

Phase II study of SU11248 in patients with advanced malignancies incorporating PET imaging: Abstract 663

An experimental pill aimed at several important signaling molecules involved in angiogenesis and cell growth produced evidence of tumor shrinkage and arrest in tumor growth in patients with advanced, refractory cancers. Dr. Guy C. Toner, Centre for Developmental Cancer Therapeutics in Melbourne, Australia, presented preliminary results from 41 patients in the clinical study.

The compound, called SU11248, inhibits signaling proteins called tyrosine kinases, which help tumor cells, its surrounding cells, and blood vessels that feed them, grow. Specifically, SU11248 is designed to target three important kinases VEGFR, PDGFR and KIT.

"The study employed an imaging technique, called PET scanning, to assess biological response and correlated the results with conventional responses and with known angiogenesis biomarkers, such as circulating sVEGF," said Dr. Toner.

The study enrolled patients with a variety of tumor types, including colorectal, sarcoma, melanoma, and renal cancers that were refractory to standard therapies. SU11248 was administered as a t

Contact: Warren Froelich
American Association for Cancer Research

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