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Local Research Foundation Achieves Milestone in Fight Against Cancer
Date:10/23/2008

CHRISTUS Stehlin Foundation for Cancer Research Develops Innovative

Anticancer Drug

HOUSTON, Oct. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Almost everyone knows the devastation that cancer brings to families, workplaces and communities, and many Houstonians are aware of well-known local cancer treatment institutions. Few, however, may be familiar with the CHRISTUS Stehlin Foundation for Cancer Research, a nationally recognized leader in cancer research located in Houston, which recently achieved a milestone in their battle against cancer.

The CHRISTUS Stehlin Foundation recently received word from the Food and Drug Administration that CZ48, a promising anticancer drug they discovered and developed, was approved to begin Phase I (human) clinical trials. This is a large step in the journey to offer this potentially lifesaving drug to people suffering from cancer.

This is a remarkable accomplishment, since past records show that for every 5,000 to 10,000 oncology compounds discovered, only 250 make it to pre-clinical phases, and only five (one-tenth of one percent) are approved by the FDA for these human studies.

CZ48 is a derivative of extracts from a Chinese tree, the Camptotheca Acuminata, which more than 45 years ago showed potent anticancer activity against a type of mouse leukemia. The Stehlin Foundation has been researching cancer treatment with the Camptothecin family of compounds since 1988, and as a pioneer in the development of the Camptothecin family of drugs, has synthesized and tested more than 200 Camptothecin derivatives. In fact, the New York Academy of Science wrote, "Camptothecins can be envisioned as the ultimate anticancer drugs when fully developed."

The first phase of the trial has begun at the University of New Mexico Cancer Center in Albuquerque, N.M., and plans are also under way to offer the trial at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, Tenn. This phase of the clinical trial process
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SOURCE CHRISTUS Stehlin Foundation
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