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THYROID CANCER TUMOURS CAN DIE WITH USE OF AFRICAN WILLOW BUSH EXTRACT COMPOUND

ZYBRESTAT

[A substance from the African willow bush]

SHOWS EVIDENCE OF ANTI-TUMOUR

ACTIVITY IN THYROID CANC ER

Data from a phase II study, in which the clinical effects of Zybrestat in combination with paclitaxel and carboplatin were studied in 13 patients with advanced malignancies including anaplastic thyroid cancer, suggest that Zybrestat possesses potent anti-tumour activity.

Patients in this study received one of two dose regimens of Zybrestat, both of which reduced tumour blood flow as measured by Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (DCE-MRI). The most marked reductions in tumour blood flow (70%) were seen in the patients with anaplastic thyroid cancer.

COMBINING VDAs WITH ANGIOGENESIS

INHIBITORS

The potential to use VDAs in combination with angiogenic inhibitors is a concept that is attracting considerable interest among scientists. Targeting different aspects of a tumour’s blood supply, sequential use of VDAs and angiogenic inhibitors could lead to massive tumour necrosis and destruction.

While a VDA such as Zybrestat could be used to destroy the established blood supply feeding the tumour, the subsequent addition of an angiogenic inhibitor could prevent the regrowth of blood vessels (neovascularisation) which allows a tumour to survive and proliferate following initial therapy. Preventing the regrowth of blood vessels from the viable tumour rim could help stop tumours from spreading.

MARKETING COMMENTARY

Oxigene’s Zybrestat is under development for the treatment of anaplastic thyroid cancer, a highly aggressive primary thyroid malignancy for which there are no approved treatments.

Currently, newly diagnosed patients have a median life expectancy of about 3 months. Although relatively rare, it represents a disease of significant unmet clinical need. VDAs, of which Zybrestat is one of several in development, may have the potential to treat difficult malignancies such as anaplastic thyroid cancer as well as other solid tumours when used in conjunction with established cancer drugs.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 28th April 2010

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