Cancer research: cancer drug trials show promise
The medic leading the main cancer research group in Ireland has said there is reason to be hopeful on a number of fronts on the development of new treatments for various cancers.
The chief executive of the Irish Co-operative Oncology Research Group (ICORG), Dr Brian Moulton, was commenting after confirming that ICORG is to commence clinical trials for Roche’s potential new “blockbuster” cancer drug, T-DMI, at four cancer hospitals in Ireland in the spring of next year. Clinical results have already shown that the new “smart” drug for breast cancer extends women’s lives by six months while reducing side effects, including hair loss.
T-DM1 , designed to seek out and destroy cancerous cells while sparing healthy tissue from unnecessary damage, combines the “wonder” drug Herceptin with a potent chemotherapy agent and results from a major trial show that the drug prolonged the lives of patients with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer by 30.9 months compared with 25.1 months on standard therapy. Dr Moulton said, “The hope is that T-DM1 will be a significant step forward for HER2+ breast cancer.” He said that the trial would run for around six months.
Dr Moulton said, “There is a lot of hope on a lot of fronts. There are significant and substantial steps forward in many areas including renal, lung, breast and melanoma cancer. It is really is an exciting time and the pace of change is so much faster than ten years ago, it is great to be part of it.”