Targeted toxin active in platinum-resistant ovarian cancers

by Richard Saltus

A new antibody-guided drug has shown promising activity in a phase I trial involving ovarian cancer patients with platinum drug-resistant disease, researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute will report today at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. The findings (abstract LB-290) will be discussed at a press conference on Saturday, April 06, 2013, and later at an oral presentation on Tuesday, April 09, 2013.

Joyce Liu, MD, MPH, first author of the study, said that among 29 patients who received the antibody-drug conjugate at what was found to be the maximum tolerated dose, there was one complete response and four partial responses. "In addition, there were additional patients with prolonged stable disease who were able to stay on treatment," said Liu, of the treatment center at Dana-Farber.

The responses all occurred in patients whose tumors had high expression of the MUC16 protein to which the drug is targeted. Known as DMUC5754A, the drug conjugate consists of an antibody, which recognizes the MUC16 protein expressed by ovarian cancer cells, fused to a toxin, MMAE, which prevents cancer cells from dividing. Targeting the drug conjugate specifically to reduced adverse effects of the toxin on healthy tissues and organs, said Liu. She called the safety profile "encouraging." Most common adverse effects were fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. This phase 1 multicenter trial is the first use in humans of DMUC5754A, and the responses, which Liu called "a nice sign of activity in a very challenging type of ovarian cancer to treat," merit further testing in a phase II trial, which is being planned. "If the activity of this drug is confirmed in additional trials, this will represent a novel type of therapy for ," Liu said.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Drug cocktail boosts ovarian cancer survival time

Jun 02, 2012

A drug cocktail that combines chemotherapy with Avastin was shown to double the amount of time patients lived without progression of ovarian cancer, according to research released Saturday.

Investigational drug shows promise in ovarian cancer

Sep 15, 2008

An investigational drug that combats ovarian cancer by inhibiting the formation of new blood vessels has shown promise in a phase II trial, according to a presentation at the 33rd Congress of the European Society for Medical ...

Common diabetes drug may help treat ovarian cancer

Dec 03, 2012

A new study suggests that the common diabetes medication metformin may be considered for use in the prevention or treatment of ovarian cancer. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer ...

Recommended for you

Generation of tanners see spike in deadly melanoma

4 hours ago

(AP)—Stop sunbathing and using indoor tanning beds, the acting U.S. surgeon general warned in a report released Tuesday that cites an alarming 200 percent jump in deadly melanoma cases since 1973.

Penn team makes cancer glow to improve surgical outcomes

5 hours ago

The best way to cure most cases of cancer is to surgically remove the tumor. The Achilles heel of this approach, however, is that the surgeon may fail to extract the entire tumor, leading to a local recurrence.

Cancer: Tumors absorb sugar for mobility

17 hours ago

Cancer cells are gluttons. We have long known that they monopolize large amounts of sugar. More recently, it became clear that some tumor cells are also characterized by a series of features such as mobility or unlikeliness ...

User comments