Thursday, September 27, 2007

Human trial of experimental cancer drug approved

From the Toronto Star:
Health Canada has approved the first human trial of an experimental cancer drug called dichloroacetate, or DCA, in people with an advanced form of an aggressive brain cancer.

The molecule has drawn international attention after the University of Alberta's Dr. Evangelos Michelakis published promising results in January showing it significantly shrunk tumours in rats. This new trial will give doctors a clue as to whether the research's impressive results will make the jump into human subjects.

"Typically from the time you report results in animals to the point that you test in a human being, takes about three years, even with the support of the pharmaceutical industry," Michelakis said Wednesday. "For us to have completed it in eight months is remarkable."

Researchers hope to try the drug on up to 50 people with glioblastomas over the next 18 months. Michelakis said they are recruiting from the Edmonton area to start, but aren't ruling out allowing people from other provinces to take part, as long as the funding can be found. The first subjects could begin within a few weeks. ...more

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