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Telik drug shrinks ovarian, lung tumors in trials

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Telik drug shrinks ovarian, lung tumors in trials

Reuters Health

Posting Date: June 8, 2004

Last Updated: 2004-06-08 16:46:13 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Patients with lung and ovarian cancers who had previously failed to benefit from standard treatments saw their tumors shrink considerably when an experimental drug made by Telik Inc. was added to their chemotherapy, researchers report.

Results of three small mid-stage trials of the medicine funded by Telik were presented at the annual meeting here of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in New Orleans.

One trial involved 21 patients with ovarian cancer who were given the drug, called Telcyta, in combination with carboplatin. The patients had failed at least one round of chemotherapy.

After about one year of treatment, 56% of the patients saw their tumors shrink by at least 50%, with no sign of cancer remaining in three of the patients, said Dr. John Kavanagh, an oncologist at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Telcyta was not tested by itself against carboplatin, a drug that Telik chief executive Michael Wick said typically produces shrinkages in only about 10% of such patients with advanced ovarian cancer.

"The data are so strong that we have decided to begin a late-stage trial this summer" testing Telcyta in perhaps 200 such ovarian cancer patients, Wick said in an interview.

Another trial described on Saturday involved 21 ovarian cancer patients given Telcyta in combination with liposomal doxorubicin (Doxil), a Johnson & Johnson drug typically given only to patients who have failed many rounds of chemotherapy.

All patients had previously taken platinum-based chemotherapy, typically carboplatin.

About 46% of patients getting the combination saw their tumors shrink, and with no side effects beyond those typically seen with Doxil by itself.

Doxil as a stand-alone treatment typically shrinks tumors in only about 12% of patients, Wick said.

The third phase II trial involved 30 patients with lung cancer, most of whom had failed one round of chemotherapy. They were given Telcyta in combination with Taxotere, an Aventis SA drug that is a standard treatment.

Twenty-seven percent of patients taking the combination of drugs saw their tumors shrink, including one patient with no further signs of cancer, with patients experiencing side effects similar to those typically seen with Taxotere alone.

Wick said the results were impressive because Taxotere, by itself, usually shrinks tumors in only about 3% to 8% of such lung cancer patients.

Telcyta is now being evaluated in a larger phase III study for lung cancer.

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