Navigation Links
New type of drug shows promise in attacking melanoma in an innovative way

Barcelona, Spain: An experimental drug that attacks cancer in an entirely new way has shown promise in treating advanced melanoma, delaying progression of the disease and prolonging the lives of patients.

New research presented today (Wednesday) at the European Cancer Conference (ECCO 14) in Barcelona found that giving the new drug in addition to chemotherapy more than doubled the amount of time patients survived without progression of their cancer.

The study, according to Dr Anthony Williams, vice president of clinical research at Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. in Lexington, Massachusetts, USA, included 81 patients with metastatic melanoma. Of those, 28 received treatment with the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel alone and 53 received paclitaxel plus the new drug, STA-4783.

The median progression free survival was 1.8 months in the group who got chemotherapy alone, but 3.7 months in the group who got the combination, Williams said. This doubling in progression free survival is impressive for this cancer, and the result was achieved without substantial additional toxicity.

He added: Progression-free survival was linked to improvements in overall survival. Patients on the experimental combination survived on average for 12 months after being diagnosed, while those getting only paclitaxel survived on average 7.8 months. This is the first time an improvement in survival has been seen in a randomised, double-blind, multi-centre controlled trial for metastatic melanoma.

The drug is the first in a new class called oxidative stress inducers. It works by increasing the amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as hydrogen peroxide and superoxide, in cells. When the level exceeds the antioxidant capacity of cells, the cells are in a state of oxidative stress. All cells have some low level of ROS, but cancer cells naturally operate with a higher level of ROS and oxidative stress relative to normal cells. However, too much oxidative stress for too long results in cell death. STA-4783 kills only tumour cells because the additional stress introduced pushes cancer cells, but not healthy cells, over the critical threshold. Melanoma is one of several cancer types that are known to operate at a higher level of oxidative stress.

The concept of cancer cells operating at a higher level of oxidative stress than normal cells has been around for many years. However, it is only recently becoming a greater focus of attention in the oncology field.

Metastatic melanoma, where the skin cancer has spread to other parts of the body, is difficult to treat. Current therapies either have limited power or are highly toxic. The average survival of patients diagnosed with advanced melanoma is about six months.

The study also indicated that STA-4783 might boost the efficiency of chemotherapy drugs that induce cell death, or apoptosis, because it appears to lower the hurdle for activating that process, Williams said.

These results are encouraging not only because of the findings in themselves but also because there are so few treatment options for patients. We believe STA-4783 has the potential to improve survival with a manageable side effect profile, he said.

We also believe there is nothing unique about metastatic melanoma and that oxidative stress has the potential to be an entirely new class of cancer treatment that could have applications in other types of cancer, Williams added.

A larger study of STA-4783 in melanoma patients across Europe is now under way to further investigate the drugs potential. Synta, the drugs developer, funded the study presented at ECCO.


Contact: Emma Ross
ECCO-the European CanCer Conference

Related medicine news :

1. Experimental treatment for Ebola Virus Shows promising results in mice
2. Gene Therapy shows promise in treating Hemophilia
3. New Prostate Cancer Vaccine Shows Promise
4. Leukemia pill shows promise against stomach cancer
5. Stent shows promise in keeping arteries open
6. Drug to treat lung cancer shows promise
7. Latest drug shows promise in multiple myeloma
8. AIDS vaccine falls short but shows some promise
9. Ebola Treatment Shows Promise
10. SARS vaccine shows promise in Animal Testing
11. New Drug Shows Significant Improvement In HIV-related Heart Condition
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... Toronto, ON and Cambridge, ON (PRWEB) , ... ... ... announced today the availability of a real-time eReferral system for diagnostic imaging in ... CTs, ultrasounds, X-rays, mammography, BMD and Nuclear Medicine tests directly from their electronic ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... The Catalent Applied Drug Delivery ... to integrate dose form selection in early phase drug development. The first of ... and bringing together the UK’s emerging life sciences companies, corporate partners, and investors, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... PRMA Plastic Surgery is updating ... our surgeons performed their 6,000th free flap breast reconstruction surgery! , “What an accomplishment ... day excited to rebuild lives and it’s an honor to have served all of ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 26, 2015 , ... Pixel Film Studios brings Final Cut ... Vintage. This newly styled ProTrailer pack comes with 30 all-new vintage-inspired designs, with ... users limitless opportunities to stylize and create designs quickly and easily, all within ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of the world-class Asterisk based contact center ... reliability. , The new Q-Suite 6 platform is based on the latest Java Enterprise ... a specific piece of software for many key components of the suite. Much of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... 2015 --> ... online. The potential to save costs, improve treatment quality ... from fully exploited as yet. Here, particular emphasis is ... via mobile tablet or directly at the patients, bedside. ... ) -->      (Photo: ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) has announced the ... report to their offering. ... author the present scenario and growth prospects of the ... market size, the report considers revenue generated from the ... copper IUDs. The report forecasts the global intrauterine devices ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 Un nuevo ... Bremachlorin para el cáncer avanzado.   --> ... terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para el cáncer avanzado. ... la inmunoterapia con la terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para ... Research . --> Clinical Cancer Research . ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: