New international study targets rare cancer bringing hope for advanced thymic cancer patients

December 8, 2009

Dec. 8, 2009 — The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Scottsdale Healthcare are testing a new drug specifically for thymic cancer based on early promising results at Scottsdale Healthcare.

PHA-848125ac is produced by Nerviano Medical Sciences of Milan, Italy's largest pharmaceutical research and development facility. It is designed to stop abnormal cell division and duplication, a common feature of .

"From the initial trial in patients with advanced cancers, this drug is well tolerated. We are now focusing on thymic cancer based on our initial results, to hopefully find a treatment that is successful for this rare cancer — where there is no standard approved treatment," said Dr. Glen J. Weiss, principal investigator for this trial and Director of Thoracic at TGen Clinical Research Services (TCRS) at Scottsdale Healthcare.

TCRS is a partnership between TGen and Scottsdale Healthcare that enables laboratory discoveries to be quickly turned into targeted therapies that can be tested with patients at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center in Scottsdale.

This Phase 2 clinical trial of as many as 60 adults with advanced thymic cancer will help determine if PHA-848125ac is an active drug for this disease. The thymus is a small organ near the lungs and heart that is a key part of the body's immune system during fetal and childhood development.

Dr. Jeffrey Isaacs of Southwest Oncology in Phoenix, has seen first-hand how this agent made a difference for patients with thymic cancer. He said he is enthusiastic about a drug specifically targeting this rare cancer population to hopefully improve their outcomes.

Source: The Translational Genomics Research Institute

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