Monday, 24 July 2017

A promising ovarian cancer treatment

06 June 2017 | News

The drug kills cells by blocking a molecule called thymidylate synthase and causing irreparable DNA damage.

A team of scientists, one of them of Indian origin, has developed a new targeted treatment for ovarian cancer that shrinks tumours without causing any side effects.

Researchers believe the drug, which mimics the action of folic acid to enter cells, could hold huge promise for women with advanced ovarian cancer who have stopped responding to standard treatment.

The drug kills cells by blocking a molecule called thymidylate synthase and causing irreparable DNA damage.

The research has been conducted at the Institute of Cancer Research in the UK. The researchers found that since the drug targets cancer cells specifically, it did not have side-effects often seen with traditional chemotherapy such as infections, diarrhoea, nerve damage and hair loss.

The team tested the drug, ONX-0801, in 15 women with ovarian cancer as part of a wider phase I clinical trial. Phase 1 trials are run in patients who have advanced cancer as a way of testing a drug's safety, and it is highly unusual to see major clinical responses at this stage.

They found that the drug significantly shrunk tumours in seven of the 15 ovarian cancer patients. This observation certainly seems very exciting and promising.

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