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Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. Announces Phase 2 Results on KRX-0401 (Perifosine) in Patients with Relapsed/Refractory Waldenstroms Macroglobulinemia at the 44th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology
Date:6/3/2008

Akt and a number of other key signal transduction pathways, including the JNK and MAPK pathways, all of which are pathways associated with programmed cell death, cell growth, cell differentiation and cell survival. The effects of perifosine on Akt are of particular interest because of the importance of this pathway in the development of most cancers, the evidence that it is often activated in tumors that are resistant to other forms of anticancer therapy, and the difficulty encountered thus far in the discovery of drugs that will inhibit this pathway without causing excessive toxicity. High levels of activated Akt (pAkt) are seen frequently in many types of cancer and have been correlated with poor prognosis in patients with soft-tissue sarcoma, gastric, hepatocellular, endometrial, prostate, renal cell, head and neck cancers and hematological malignancies, as well as glioblastoma. The majority of tumors expressing high levels of pAkt were high-grade, advanced stage or had other features associated with poor prognosis. High pAkt is often seen in tumors that are resistant to conventional cancer treatments, including radiotherapy, chemotherapy, endocrine therapy, and especially therapy with some of the newer biologicals.

To date, over 1,700 patients have been treated with KRX-0401 in trials conducted both in the United States and Europe. Its safety profile is distinctly different from that of most cytotoxic agents. It does not appear to cause myelosuppression (depression of the immune system that may lead to life threatening infections), thrombocytopenia (a decrease in platelets that may result in bleeding), skin rash, flu-like symptoms or alopecia (hair loss); all of these toxicities occur frequently with many of the currently available treatments for cancer. The main side effects of perifosine are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue, but these are either mild or non-existent in lower doses that have induced tumor regression. Responses have been seen with b
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