Trial opens to evaluate experimental cancer drug against solid tumors

Doctor speaks to patient in clinic

Chemotherapy drugs have long been the mainstay of treatment for advanced solid tumors, but the toxic side effects of these drugs often limit the amount that can safely be given to patients. Doctors hope that PEN-866, an experimental cancer drug, can help to overcome this difficulty. Anish Thomas, M.D., an NIH Lasker Clinical Research Scholar in the Developmental Therapeutics Branch, is leading a study to determine the safety and most effective dose of PEN-866, which is designed to kill cancer cells while reducing damage to normal cells.

Dr. Thomas says, “This is a first-of-its-kind approach to facilitate tumor targeted delivery of chemotherapy drugs, which, if successful, would be a big step forward for cancer therapy. Preclinical studies of this agent by a number of groups, including NCI colleagues, have been promising in multiple tumor types including small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer and sarcomas.”

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Summary Posted: Tue, 08/01/2017