Navigation Links
Potential Skin Cancer Breakthrough Tested at Scottsdale Healthcare Published Today in New England Journal of Medicine

Hedgehog trial results suggest antitumor activity in basal cell skin cancer

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Sept. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine reports a potential new investigational therapy for advanced and metastatic basal cell skin cancer tested at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare and other sites appears to demonstrate tumor shrinkage and limited side effects in patients.

"Inhibition of the Hedgehog Pathway in Advanced Basal-Cell Carcinoma" is authored by lead investigator Daniel D. Von Hoff, MD, a world-renowned expert in developing new drugs for patients with cancer. Dr. Von Hoff is an oncologist and chief scientific officer at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, physician-in-chief at Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and chief scientific officer at US Oncology.

The article appears online at and will be included in the Sept. 17 issue of New England Journal of Medicine.

These findings are significant because there is no proven therapy for advanced basal cell carcinoma (BCC). BCC is the most common cancer in the United States with about one million new cases diagnosed each year. Arizona has one of the highest incidences of skin cancer in the world.

Typically diagnosed with a simple biopsy, the risk of BCC increases for individuals with a family history or prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. Most patients are cured by surgery, but if left untreated or if spread to other organs, then scarring and disfigurement, and even death may result.

In a Phase I clinical trial conducted in Arizona at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, Dr. Von Hoff and colleagues at Johns Hopkins University and Karmanos Cancer Institute demonstrated that GDC-0449, a Hedgehog Pathway Inhibitor, appears to shrink tumors in locally-advanced and metastatic basal cell carcinoma (BCC) while having limited side effects including a loss of sense of taste, and a small amount of hair loss and weight loss. GDC-0449 was discovered by Genentech and was jointly validated through a series of preclinical studies performed under a collaboration agreement between Genentech and Curis, Inc. (Cambridge, Mass). Genentech is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Roche Group.

Known as the "Hedgehog" trial, results suggest a durable clinical benefit, defined as tumor shrinkage visible on X-ray or other physical exam or improvement in symptoms without tumor growth -- was observed in 18 of 33 patients evaluated.

"Until now, we did not have any treatments that can effectively slow the tumor growth in these patients with advanced skin cancer. Using the right drug for each cancer, or precision oncology as we call it, has great potential against other cancers as well," said Dr. Von Hoff.

Abnormal activation of the Hedgehog signaling pathway appears to be an important mechanism for many different types of cancers to develop, survive or grow. This pathway can be inactivated by a chemical called cyclopamine found in the California corn lily. Initial observation and isolation of cyclopamine from the corn lily was made in 1957. Subsequently, scientists at Genentech developed an oral drug called GDC-0449 which can inhibit key components of the Hedgehog pathway.

Basal cell cancer was chosen as the first cancer to be studied, as most BCCs have abnormalities or mutations of Hedgehog pathway genes named PATCHED and SMOOTHENED.

"Success of this new therapy is another example of applying genetic information to medicine. We are constantly working to improve treatment options for patients with common and rare cancers," said Dr. Glen J. Weiss, part of Dr. Von Hoff's team and contributing author for this study.

Patient response to the therapy was assessed through physical examination and imaging. "Integrating genomic data with state-of-the-art clinical and imaging information to develop and apply targeted therapies has certainly taken a major step forward with the encouraging results from the Hedgehog trial," added Dr. Ron Korn, a Scottsdale Healthcare radiologist and director of Scottsdale Medical Imaging Ltd.

Cancer research at Scottsdale Healthcare is administered through its research arm, the Scottsdale Clinical Research Institute.

Dr. Von Hoff's team sees patients in the TGen Clinical Research Services clinic in the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare. The cancer center is located on the campus of Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center.

The trial sponsored by Genentech also included sites at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit.

Patients seeking more information on new therapies available through the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare can email or call 480-323-1339 (toll free 1-877-273-3713).

The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare offers cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, research and support services in its facilities at the Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center, attracting patients from across Arizona and the U.S. Groundbreaking cancer research is conducted through its Scottsdale Clinical Research Institute and TGen Clinical Research Service. It is a primary clinical research site for the Translational Genomics Research Institute and the Stand Up To Cancer Pancreatic Cancer Research Dream Team.

Scottsdale Healthcare is the not-for-profit parent organization of the Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital, Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center, Scottsdale Clinical Research Institute and Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation. For additional information, please visit

SOURCE Scottsdale Healthcare
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Interim Phase II Data Presented at XIV World Congress of Neurological Surgery Supports Potential of Peregrines Cotara(R) for Treatment of Brain Cancer
2. CRi Oosight Imaging System a Key to Breakthrough Gene Replacement Method With Potential to Prevent Inherited Mitochondrial Diseases
3. Studies Published in the New England Journal of Medicine Highlight Potential New Option in the Treatment of Bone Loss
4. First Potential Lupus-Specific Treatment in Sight
5. Innovative Psoriasis Treatment PSORENT(R) Announces Healthcare Cost Savings Potential Consistent with President Obamas Announcement on Healthcare Reform
6. CEL SCI Collaborators Demonstrate Novel L.E.A.P.S. Vaccines Immunize Mice Against Tuberculosis Antigens and Suggest Potential to Treat Swine and Other Influenzas
7. Ethicon Endo-Surgery Studies Presented at DDW Demonstrate Potential of Pure NOTES Surgery With Companys Toolbox
8. Scientists at The Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit Identify Potential New Target for Breast Cancer Therapy
9. Cardium Announces Completion of Patient Recruitment in Phase 2b Clinical Trial of Excellarate(TM) for the Potential Treatment of Diabetic Foot Ulcers
10. Ground-Breaking Combination of All-Oral Agents Demonstrates Potential as Hepatitis C Treatment Regimen
11. Endo Pharmaceuticals Announces Research Collaborations to Develop Novel Pain Treatments and Discover Potential Cancer Treatments
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/11/2017)... Texas , Oct. 11, 2017  True ... services, has amplified its effort during National Breast ... about hereditary cancer risks. ... of Clinical Oncology calculated that more than 10 ... have inherited mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 and have ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... Oct. 6, 2017   Provista, a proven ... $100 billion in purchasing power, today announced a new ... The Newsroom is the online home for ... infographics, expert bios, news releases, slideshows and events. ... a wealth of resources at their fingertips, viewers can ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... 2017 OBP Medical , a ... devices, today announced regulatory approval from ... Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária (ANVISA)) to market ... retractor with integrated LED light source and smoke ... exposure of a tissue pocket or cavity during ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House ... most popular and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book of ... baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but Yisrayl ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story of a missionary ... Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation of published author, ... ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, which she has ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... CitiDent ... sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 million ... by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant relief to about ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( ), one of the Nation’s ... design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad provides optimal support and full ... while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and water that is circulated from an ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... system that we intend to develop to enable prevention of a major side ... severe hearing loss, especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is FDA ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):