A new cancer drug, the Trojan Horse, successfully treats patients with 6 different types of deadly tumors


A brand new type of anticancer drug that acts as a "Trojan horse" to penetrate inside tumor cells has been shown to be promising in patients with advanced drug-resistant cancer.

Patients with six different types of cancer, including those with tumors of the cervix, bladder, ovary and lung, responded positively to the new treatment.

Since these patients had already exhausted their other treatment options, the drug might be ready to extend their life in the next five years.

The new innovative drug, called tisotumab vedotin (or television), releases a toxic substance that kills cancer cells from the inside. The results have been so positive that the drug has now switched to phase II cervical cancer trials and that it will be tested in a range of additional solid tumor cancers.

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A team from the London Cancer Institute and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust has led a global Phase I / II clinical trial of nearly 150 European patients with various types of cancer who have stopped responding to conventional treatments .

The study was published in Lancet Oncology and funded by Genmab and Seattle Genetics.

The researchers observed responses in 27% of patients with bladder cancer, 26.5% of those with cervical cancer, 14% of a cancer of the bladder. 39, ovarian, 13% of the esophagus, 13% of those of non-small-cell lung and 7% of those of endometrial cancer men with prostate cancer).

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The responses lasted on average 5.7 months and reached 9.5 months in some patients. The main adverse events reported during the study were nosebleeds, fatigue, nausea and eye problems – but at half of the trial, the researchers adjusted the protocol to reduce these effects on the eyes. .

Television is made of a toxic drug attached to the tail of an antibody. The antibody is designed to look for a receptor called "tissue factor" – present at high concentrations on the surface of many cancer cells and associated with lower survival rates. Tissue factor binding attracts the drug to cancer cells, where it can kill them from within.

The trial initially recruited 27 patients to assess safety and determine the correct dose, before switching to another 120 patients, mainly to check whether the drug was reaching the right target, but also to examine its effects on patients. you die.

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The majority of patients at the beginning of the trial had advanced cancer (spread locally or around the body) that had already been treated with resistance to three different types of treatment and had become resistant to it.

"What's so exciting about this treatment is that its mechanism of action is completely new.It acts as a Trojan horse to infiltrate into cancer cells and kill them." inside, "said Professor Johann de Bono of the Cancer Institute, London. .

"Our first study showed that it could potentially treat a large number of cancer types, especially those with very low survival rates.

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"Television has manageable side effects, and we found good responses in patients of our trial, all with advanced-stage cancer, who had been heavily pre-treated with other drugs and short-lived. d & # 39; option.

"We have already started additional trials of this new drug in different types of tumors and as a second-line treatment for cervical cancer, where response rates were particularly high. We are also developing a test to select the patients most likely to respond. "

Television is now being tested in other types of cancer, including cancers of the gut, pancreas, squamous cell lung, as well as in a phase II trial as a treatment second-line cancer of the cervix.

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Biopsy samples taken at the beginning of the test are being analyzed to determine the expression of tissue factor on tumor cells, to determine if it could be used as a marker to select the patients most likely to respond to the tumor. drug.

Professor Paul Workman, Director of the London Cancer Institute, said: "We have seen major advances in cancer over the last few decades, but many types of tumors remain very difficult to treat once cancer began to spread. We desperately need innovative treatments, such as this one, that can fight cancer in new ways and remain effective, even against tumors that have become resistant to conventional treatments.

"It's exciting to see the potential shown by television on a range of cancers that are difficult to treat. I look forward to seeing the progress at the clinic and hope that it will benefit patients who currently have no treatment options. "

(Source: Cancer Institute, London)

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