Finally – A New Drug For Cancer?
A new drug as a potential cancer treatment is now on its development phase. The ongoing clinical trials indicate that doctors may start to deal with cancer differently in the future. This is a joint project of the giant company Pfizer and the small biotech firm acquired by AbbVie, Stencentrx. The drug was designed to target aggressive ovarian, breast, and lung cancer stem cells.
The drug has been officially called as the PF-06647020. Marc Damelin of Pziler and Scott Dylla of AbbVie Stemcentrx have both been working on it. According to Damelin, the PF-06647020 has the ability to go after the roots of the tumor cells, pretty much like weeding out a garden.
It can be recalled that cancer cells are dangerous because relapses are very common especially in its aggressive forms, making them difficult for doctors to treat. The new drug has already been tried in monkeys and mice and so far, these have been found safe and effective. Human trials are currently underway. Damelin likened the PF-06647020 to a guided missile. Dylla on the other hand says that the antibody molecule works by attaching itself to the developing cancer cell. The antibody comes with the cancer-fighting drug, which then delivers direct chemotherapy to the cancer cells, eventually killing them in the process. The missiles in question have been designed to target the protein PTK7, which have been observed to be particularly abundant in cancer cells.
The ongoing trials now include patients who failed to get better with the use of other treatments or those that have relapses. Damelin reported that a third of the patients suffering from ovarian cancer showed improved symptoms. According to Dylla, patients who have non-small cell lung cancer and negative breast cancer have also been responding positively. These results indicate that the drug shows promise as a cure for some of the more serious types of cancers.
The companies will be scheduling a larger human trial later this year. Damelin is hopeful that the drug would be also used in cancers of the prostate, stomach, esophagus, and aggressive type of leukemia.