Promising cancer drug could be studied in humans

A potential treatment for small cell lung cancer may head to clinical trials next year following the publication of promising results of a mice study in the journal Cancer Research.

Researchers from the Imperial College London say that PD173074, which was developed in 1998, eliminated tumors in 50 percent of mice and also helped stop the tumors from growing, according to an Imperial College release. In a second, similar mouse model, the drug enhanced the effect of standard chemotherapy.

"Our new research in mice suggests that it may be possible to develop the drug PD173074 into a new targeted therapy for small cell lung cancer," Michael Seckl, one of the authors of the study and head of the Section of Molecular Oncology and Lung Cancer Research at Imperial College, says in the release. He adds that researchers hope to take this or a similar drug into clinical trials next year.

If the drug proves successful in humans, researchers hope that it could help patients with small cell lung cancer live longer. Only three percent of these patients are expected to survive for five years.

- read the Imperial College London release