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Promising preliminary results for new lung cancer drug

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http://www.nexcura.com/Newsletter/eNews ... C0FF744F17

Source: (cancerfacts.com)

Monday, October 17, 2005

LONDON – Oct. 17, 2005 – A new drug used in combination with standard chemotherapy has shown encouraging tumor response in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, preliminary findings show. Cancer drug developer Antisoma today announced the tentative findings from an ongoing early stage trial of its lead drug, AS1404, for treatment of lung cancer.

With initial data available from 47 of the 71 patients enrolled, 43.5 percent of those receiving AS1404 in addition to chemotherapy showed a partial response compared to 33.3 percent of those who received chemotherapy alone. A partial response indicates the tumor was reduced in size by 30 percent or more for at least six weeks.

The results also showed that, of the 47 patients analyzed, 8.7 percent of the Antisoma group had progressive disease compared to 33.3 percent of those receiving chemotherapy alone. Progressive disease is defined as greater than a 20 percent increase in tumor size.

Dr Mark McKeage of the University of Auckland, New Zealand, one of the principal investigators in the study, said: "These early data are fascinating and very encouraging."

The AS1404 lung cancer study is a randomised, controlled, phase II trial being conducted at hospitals in France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. Half of the patients in the study are receiving AS1404 plus chemotherapy (carboplatin and paclitaxel) while the other half are receiving chemotherapy alone.

Patients in the trial need to be receiving treatment for the first time for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer that has spread or metastasized to other parts of the body. Enrollment was completed in August 2005, and the trial has included patients with both squamous and non-squamous lung cancers.

AS1404 belongs to a class of drugs called vascular disrupting agents. These drugs selectively attack tumor blood vessels, giving them broad potential against solid cancers, which depend on their blood supply to survive and grow. Antisoma's lung cancer study is the first controlled trial of a vascular disrupting agent to report evidence of anti-cancer activity.

The researchers caution, however, that these results are based on investigator assessments of patient outcomes. The final assessment of tumor response outcomes at the end of the study will be based on independent assessment of patient scans from the trial carried out by a reviewer who is 'blinded' with respect to the treatment each patient received. Results of the independent assessment could potentially differ from those based on investigators' reports.

It should also be noted that response rate does not indicate increased survival. These results are too early to be able to draw any conclusions regarding survival results.

In addition to the lung cancer study, Antisoma is conducting two other phase II studies of AS1404, in prostate and ovarian cancers.

SOURCE: Antisoma PLC, is a London-based biopharmaceutical company that develops novel products for the treatment of cancer.

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