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SRI International Drug Candidate Shows Promise for Treating and Preventing Prostate Cancer

MENLO PARK, Calif., March 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The best way to prevent the lethal spread of prostate cancer is by stopping cancer cell invasion of other tissues. Available treatments such as chemotherapy are toxic and can often be risky for older men, who are also most likely to get prostate cancer. In response, researchers from SRI International have identified a drug candidate that shows promise stopping both prostate cancer growth and cancer cell invasion. Early studies show that this class of drug is orally effective and has an excellent safety profile.

A combined prevention and treatment approach is significant because there currently are no effective drugs to treat prostate cancer, and its earliest beginnings are difficult to diagnose. Preliminary studies of SRI's drug candidate show anticancer activity against prostate tumor cell proliferation, progression, and invasion in both androgen-sensitive and insensitive prostate cancer. Study results were presented at the March 10, 2011 Prostate Cancer Research Program's (PCRP's) Innovative Minds in Prostate Cancer Today (IMPaCT) conference in Orlando, Florida. The study was supported by a Department of Defense/Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) Laboratory-Clinical Transition grant.

Further preclinical testing by SRI researchers will advance the drug towards clinical trials in patients.

The SRI drug candidate is developed from a naturally occurring anti-cancer agent found in cruciferous vegetables such as cabbages and broccoli. Because the drug is derived from chemicals inside healthy foods, its safety profile is better than alternative treatments such as chemotherapy. Earlier successful research on a similarly-derived breast cancer drug led researchers to expand testing of this novel class of compounds to prostate cancer models.

"Since cancer cells are able to develop diverse pathways for growth and cell survival, multi-target drugs and a network approach are the most beneficial to patients," said Ling Jong, Ph.D., principal investigator of the study and a senior program director in SRI's Biosciences Division. "We think this strategy can lead to safe and effective treatments that will improve quality of life and lower the mounting costs of drug development."

About SRI's Biosciences Division

SRI's Biosciences Division carries out basic research, drug discovery, and drug development, and provides contract services. SRI has all of the resources necessary to take R&D from "Idea to IND"®—from initial discovery to the start of human clinical trials—and specializes in cancer, immunology and inflammation, infectious disease, and neuroscience. SRI's product pipeline has yielded marketed drugs, therapeutics currently in clinical trials, and additional programs in earlier stages. In its contract research organization (CRO) business, SRI has helped government and commercial clients and partners advance many drugs into patient testing. SRI is also working to create the next generation of technologies in areas such as diagnostics, drug delivery, medical devices, and systems biology.

About SRI International

Silicon Valley-based SRI International, a nonprofit research and development organization, performs sponsored R&D for governments, businesses, and foundations. SRI brings its innovations to the marketplace through technology licensing, new products, and spin-off ventures. Commemorating its 65th anniversary in 2011, SRI is known for world-changing innovations in computing, health and pharmaceuticals, chemistry and materials, sensing, energy, education, national defense, and more.

This material is based upon work supported by U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity under award number W81XWH-09-1-0589.

Information in this press release does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the Government, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

SOURCE SRI International
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