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New type of drug shows promise in attacking melanoma in an innovative way
Date:9/26/2007

tive 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.


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Contact: Emma Ross
rosswrite@mac.com
34-932-308-832
ECCO-the European CanCer Conference
Source:Eurekalert

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