More evidence found for new anti-cancer agent

A new therapeutic may be more effective against a variety of cancers--including colon, head and neck, mesothelioma, ovarian and pancreatic cancers--than previously thought.

Researchers from Buffalo, NY's Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) injected a new formulation of a promising anti-cancer small chemical molecule--FL118--into human colon and head-and-neck tumors in animal models. They observed that the treatment was effective without relapse but was limited in that it could be delivered only by intraperitoneal (IP) administration, or injected into the body cavity. The study is slated to be published in the April 8 issue of the American Journal of Translational Research.

"This work represents a significant move forward," Fengzhi Li, associate professor of oncology in RPCI's Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics and senior author on the study, said in a statement. "We're targeting four of the most resilient and pervasive cancer survival mechanisms, and because the findings from preclinical testing have been so striking, we're anxious to see FL118 tested in the clinical setting."

IP injection is more often applied to animals rather than to humans, so producing the same results in humans will likely take additional work. However, the drug was more effective in controlling two types of cancer than a version reported in PLoS ONE

FL118 is a targeted therapy that works by inhibiting the expression of four major cancer-survival gene products. The research suggests that FL118 could also treat mesothelioma, ovarian and pancreatic cancers, and potentially other solid tumors.

- check out the research paper (PDF)
- read the press release