2. November 2011 11:33
A potential multi-cancer drug is to be tested in a human trial to see if it can treat a number of solid tumour cancers.
The drug, L-NNA could be used in the treatment of solid cancers such as those of the bowel, breast or lung.
Professor Peter Hoskin, from the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in London, said: “Scientists across the world are looking for ways to prevent cancer cells from receiving the supplies they depend on to grow and divide. It's very exciting to launch this trial of a new drug which in future may provide a new approach to treat a wide range of cancers.”
The drug constricts blood vessels leading to tumours, cutting of blood supply by acting on the enzyme, nitric oxide synthase (NOS).
“All cancers rely on the delivery of vital nutrients and oxygen through blood vessels. Without a blood supply, a tumour can't grow beyond the size of a pin head,” added Professor Hoskin.
Scientists at the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in London are in the process of recruiting 40 patients for the Phase I trial. The study will focus on establishing the correct dose of drug and will be funded and managed by Cancer Research UK’s drug development office.
Other medicines have already been developed that block tumours from forming their own networks of blood vessels, a process called angiogenesis.
Dr Nigel Blackburn, Director of Drug Development at the charity, said: “This is a promising area of research. We're looking forward to the early trial results of this new drug with great interest.”