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Drug in New Class of Targeted Therapies Shows Early Promise Against Blood-Related Cancers

Wed, 05/19/2010 - 7:37am
Bio-Medicine.Org

HACKENSACK, N.J., May 19 /PRNewswire/ -- A Phase I clinical trial of SNS-032, one of the first in a new class of drugs that inhibit cyclin-dependent kinases, demonstrated the drug's safety and potential clinical action against advanced chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Cyclin-dependent kinases are enzymatic proteins that are integrally involved in cellular metabolism, renewal and signaling, and are thought to play key roles in the growth of cancers.  The drug did not demonstrate any clinical effect against advanced multiple myeloma, although researchers hope it might still prove to have some benefit against this blood cancer as part of combination therapy. The paper is published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

"No drugs that target this cancer mechanism are on the market today," says study author David S. Siegel, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Chief, Multiple Myeloma, John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center.  "I am hopeful that larger studies will show that this targeted therapy is useful against a number of advanced B cell malignancies."  

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and multiple myeloma are both considered B cell malignancies, as they attack these cells, also known as B lymphocytes.  B lymphocytes are white blood cells that develop in the bone marrow and make antibodies that protect the immune system. Both types of blood cancer leave their victims susceptible to infections and other serious complications. While there are treatments for both cancers, there is no cure, and more effective treatments are needed.

"At the John Theurer Cancer Center we are committed to exploring new treatment options for rare cancers, such as multiple myeloma and CLL," said Andrew L. Pecora, M.

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