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Enzyme inhibitor produces stable disease in patients with advanced solid cell cancers

Prague, Czech Republic: Preliminary trials of a MEK enzyme inhibitor have shown that it is capable of producing long-lasting stable disease in patients with advanced solid cancers. Tests showed that the drug inhibited key targets in the patients' tumours, and now it is being tested in phase II clinical trials.

Professor Alex Adjei told the EORTC-NCI-AACR [1] Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in Prague today (Wednesday 8 November) that the drug AZD6244 (ARRY-142886) [2] inhibited MEK1/2 an enzyme that plays an important role in the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK cell signalling pathway, which regulates cell proliferation and survival. Activation of this pathway has been implicated in a number of cancers, including lung, pancreatic, colon, melanoma and thyroid cancer.

"Laboratory studies have shown that AZD6244 has an effect on human tumours at nanomolar concentrations, and the first part of the phase I clinical trial has determined the maximum tolerated dose and the safety of the compound. Results from this second part of the trial demonstrate that a dose of 100mg of AZD6244 is well tolerated, produces a high incidence of long-lasting stable disease, and is associated with a profound inhibition of the cell signalling protein pERK and a reduction in cell proliferation which indicates that the drug is working against the tumours," said Prof Adjei, who was professor of oncology at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA, before moving in October to be the senior vice-president for clinical research and chair of the Department of Medicine at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, USA.

Prof Adjei and his colleagues at the Mayo Clinic, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and Fox Chase Cancer Center recruited into the second part of the trial 34 patients with advanced cancers, including melanoma, breast, lung and colorectal cancers. Approximately 40% of the patients had melanoma. The researchers were particularly intere
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Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
44-077-112-96986
European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer
8-Nov-2006


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