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New blood cancer drug clears first clinical trial

New blood cancer drug clears first clinical trial

LONDON: A new blood cancer drug that targets a protein essential for growth of tumour cells has been found to be effective in patients resistant to current chemotherapies, a world first clinical trial has shown.

In the first-in-human study, researchers from UK looked at the efficacy of a new inhibitor, ONO/GS-4059, in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and non-hodgkin lymphoma patients resistant to current chemotherapies. ONO/GS-4059 targets BTK, a protein essential for the survival and proliferation of tumour cells.

For the study 90 patients were enrolled. Patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia showed the best response and most of them are still on the study after 3 years, and remarkably without notable toxicities. “These patients were confronted with a cruel reality – they had failed multiple chemotherapy lines and there were no other treatment options available for them,” said professor Harriet Walter.

“The development of targeted therapies that increase the chance of therapeutic success and at the same time avoid toxicities generally observed in chemotherapies, is the most exciting progress in cancer research,” said professor Martin Dyer.

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