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Promising cancer drug gets N. Texas trial


KatieB

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Promising cancer drug gets N. Texas trial

11:43 PM CDT on Sunday, May 8, 2005

By JANET ST. JAMES / WFAA-TV

Important testing of a promising new cancer drug is being conducted in Texas, and a North Texas woman is the first to give it a try.

Carolyn Boone travels to San Antonio from Dallas every other week for experimental cancer therapy. She's not just surviving; she's thriving thanks to a drug that's just won FDA "fast-track" approval.

After a bleeding tumor in her uterus and sarcoma that spread to her liver and lungs, Boone's doctor gave her less than a year to live.

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Janet St. James reports

"He told me that this tumor that I had was rare, and did not respond to anything traditional," Boone recalled. "He could put me through chemo (therapy); however, it probably would not work."

She is the first person to receive a new targeted therapy by Ariad. It's designed to turn off the signal causing abnormal cells to grow out of control.

"And by blocking them, cancers stop growing and some of them actually die, which is the goal," said director of clinical research Dr. Anthony Tolcher.

Boone is on her 26th round of the new drug. Tests show spots on her liver are gone, and tumors in her lung are going down. She's already beaten the odds by surviving for more than two years now.

"It's working," she said.

The 50 patients who have tested the drug at the cancer therapy and research center have had very few side effects.

"Some patients may not even have a shrinkage of their cancer, but their cancer stops growing for very long periods of time," Tolcher said. "For patients who are in need of new therapies, this is real progress."

Since this drug has shown such promise in sarcoma patients, it could make it onto the market in two to three years instead of the average seven.

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I've e-mailed this reporter to see if she has more information. I know that this drug hasn't been named yet, but simple information like what types of cancers/tumor factors they are trying this on, and the name of the testing facility or participating doctors would be helpful!

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The reporter just e-mailed me this info.

It's manufactured by ARIAD and has a long numeric name:

AP23573

it's being used in refractory sarcoma patients for which treatment options are limited or nonexistant.

The sarcoma treatment is being offered at:

The Cancer Therapy & Research Center in San Antonio

(210) 616-5504

7979 Wurzbach

San Antonio, TX, 78229.

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