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Trial to Target Cancer all the way around!


RandyW

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S.A. home to groundbreaking cancer drug clinical trial

Credit: startthecure.com

by Wendy Rigby / KENS 5

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 3:26 PM

Updated today at 3:56 PM

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Related:

* South Texas Accelerated Research Therapeutics (START)

A San Antonio cancer clinic is part of an exciting new drug trial. Patients here are testing a novel combination of anticancer drugs. Hopes are high.

Richard McCloskey is a pioneer. He’s the first person in the world to try a new combination of targeted anticancer drugs. The 55-year-old from Metairie, Louisiana, was diagnosed with colon cancer a year ago. It’s stage four and has spread to his lymph nodes. He had standard chemotherapy and suffered through the side effects.

“After six months of conventional chemotherapy,” McCloskey said, “I was really reaching the point where it had done as much as it could.”

So McCloskey traveled here to South Texas Accelerated Research Therapeutics (START) to volunteer to try something totally new. He’s taking two pills, one made by Merck, the other by AstraZeneca. Those companies are teaming up to attack solid tumor cancers in a different way.

“This is the first time that two completely separate pharmaceutical companies are taking important new therapies that are targeted therapies and bringing them together in one clinical study,” explained Dr. Anthony Tolcher, a medical oncologist and cancer researcher at START.

The drugs are designed to block important signals at the cellular level, signals that allow cancer to grow.

So far, a nagging rash is McCloskey’s biggest side effect complaint. He’s hopeful the drug he comes here for weekly will keep his cancer in check and maybe shrink it away.

“It sounded extremely exciting,” McCloskey said. “And I am very excited about it. The idea sounded terrific.”

“This is a very exciting development,” stated Tolcher.

This newest generation of cancer drugs is designed to precisely target the disease, not just colon cancer, but tumors from lung and breast cancer and sarcoma.

Both big companies hope their drugs will have a synergistic effect, working better together than they can alone.

Patients who want more information about the study can contact START at (210) 593-5265.

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