A selection of cancer patients in the UK will today begin trialling a new multi-cancer fighting drug which is able to target a number of cancerous tumours.
Cancer Research UK, the world’s biggest independent cancer charity, has launched the Phase I clinical trial in London, UK, at the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre.
Forty patients have been selected to take part in the trial of the drug, known as LNN-A, which has already been tested on a range of solid tumours.
According to Cancer Research UK, the drug works by blocking the nitric oxide synthase (NOS) protein which prevents blood vessels from growing in the area from surrounding cancerous tumours.
This would in turn reduce the blood flow going to the tumours, inhibiting their growth as they would be starved of the nutrients they need to survive.
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The trial is being funded by Cancer Research UK’s Drug Development Office (DDO), who are hoping it will prove the drug will be a successful multi-cancer treatment for patients.
Researchers will also be looking to see which dose of LNN-A is most effective and what happens to the drug when it is inside the body.
Professor Peter Hoskin is from the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre and is the leader of the trial. He said: “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.
“Scientists across the world are looking for ways to prevent cancer cells from receiving the supplies they depend on to grow and divide.”
He added: “It’s very exciting to launch this trial of a new drug which in the future may provide a new approach to treat a wide range of cancers.”
Meanwhile, the Director of Drug Development at Cancer Research UK’s DDO, Dr Nigel Blackburn, commented: “Our scientists are at the forefront of research to find new ways to reduce and block the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to tumour cells.
“These projects range from discovering the molecules that cause tumours to develop new blood vessels – through to the clinical testing of potential drugs.
He added: “This is a promising area of research – there are already drugs available which can reduce the growth of blood vessels being used to treat people with certain types of cancer – and we’re looking forward to the early trial results of this new drug with great interest.”
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