New cancer drug delivery system shows promise

April 4, 2012

A new method of delivering cancer drugs that could cut down on chemotherapy's side effects and boost the strength of the tumor-fighting medicine has shown promise, US researchers said Wednesday.

Early phase 1 studies on a small group of humans have shown the therapy, which delivers a potent cancer drug directly to the tumor through a process known as nanomedicine, is safe and shows some effectiveness in shrinking cancers.

The treatment had an effect even when given at doses as low as 20 percent of the typical amount, said the research presented at a science conference in Chicago and published simultaneously in Science Translational Medicine.

In addition, it was shown to concentrate drug activity in the tumor up to 10 times higher than seen in conventional application of the same chemo drug.

"If you try to get that concentration in a conventional form, you will kill the patient," said Omid Farokhzad, a physician-scientist at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and co-senior author of the clinical trial.

The 17 patients involved in the ongoing phase 1 study all have advanced cancers, according to the results presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's annual meeting.

Six of the patients have shown some response to the drug, with one cervical showing a shrinkage of tumors and five showing stabilization of their diseases, which include pancreatic, colorectal, bile duct, tonsillar and .

Researchers were pleased with the results because the doses were low, suggesting that one day doctors may find a way around the weakening effects of chemotherapy by targeting medicine at the tumor itself.

The nanomedicine is called BIND-014, and Farokhzad, who is also an associate professor at Harvard School of Medicine, described it as the "the first of this kind ever to be going into humans for any kind of illnesses."

The was combined with the chemotherapy drug (Taxotere), often used against solid tumors found in patients with breast, ovarian, prostate and non-small cell lung cancer.

BIND-014 is made by BIND Biosciences, a biopharmaceutical company in the northeastern state of Massachusetts.

Study co-author Philip Kantoff, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, said the emerging data "validates the potential for the revolutionary impact of nanomedicines and is a paradigm shift for the treatment of cancer."

More research is needed before scientists can determine if the method is safe for widespread use in the treatment of cancer.

Explore further: BIND presents late-breaker clinical data at AACR on BIND-014's promising antitumor effects

Related Stories

BIND presents late-breaker clinical data at AACR on BIND-014's promising antitumor effects

April 4, 2012
BIND Biosciences, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of highly selective targeted therapeutics called AccurinsTM, announced today the presentation of late-breaker clinical data for BIND-014, ...

Novel drug combination offers therapeutic promise for hard-to-treat cancers

September 12, 2011
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) have identified a new combination of targeted therapies that, together, may treat two aggressive tumor types that until now have not had effective treatments. These findings ...

Recommended for you

Shooting the achilles heel of nervous system cancers

July 20, 2017
Virtually all cancer treatments used today also damage normal cells, causing the toxic side effects associated with cancer treatment. A cooperative research team led by researchers at Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center ...

Molecular changes with age in normal breast tissue are linked to cancer-related changes

July 20, 2017
Several known factors are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer including increasing age, being overweight after menopause, alcohol intake, and family history. However, the underlying biologic mechanisms through ...

Immune-cell numbers predict response to combination immunotherapy in melanoma

July 20, 2017
Whether a melanoma patient will better respond to a single immunotherapy drug or two in combination depends on the abundance of certain white blood cells within their tumors, according to a new study conducted by UC San Francisco ...

Discovery could lead to better results for patients undergoing radiation

July 19, 2017
More than half of cancer patients undergo radiotherapy, in which high doses of radiation are aimed at diseased tissue to kill cancer cells. But due to a phenomenon known as radiation-induced bystander effect (RIBE), in which ...

Definitive genomic study reveals alterations driving most medulloblastoma brain tumors

July 19, 2017
The most comprehensive analysis yet of medulloblastoma has identified genomic changes responsible for more than 75 percent of the brain tumors, including two new suspected cancer genes that were found exclusively in the least ...

Novel CRISPR-Cas9 screening enables discovery of new targets to aid cancer immunotherapy

July 19, 2017
A novel screening method developed by a team at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center—using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology to test the function of thousands of tumor genes in mice—has ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.