People with advanced tumors are often at the very end of a line of treatment options. Despite the many advances we have today in technology and modern medicine, cancer’s puzzle has not yet been solved. Many of these patients’ last days are filled with pain as they spend their last moments cherishing family and loved ones.
Where hope slips away, there emerges a hope for a new promising drug.
Eli Lilly and Company is a large global pharmaceutical company that has discovered a new drug. This drug might provide options to those with advanced solid tumor cancers. It’s still very young in its discovery, with an almost robotic name of L73143921 hydrate. It’s so new that it has yet to be named something people can use in conversation.
The company says that this drug might be able to fight cancer, even after it has spread throughout the body. Many of the therapies we have today don’t do this very well. We use such strong chemicals to kill off cancer cells that we risk killing off all the other healthy cells in a person’s body. Being able to target cancer cells specifically has been a huge obstacle for modern therapies we use today. If L731439921 hydrate can overcome this obstacle, it can really change the outlook for our war on cancer.
This drug is an innovative approach to cancer therapy.
With an ability to stop cancer in its tracks and attack a known pro-cancerous mutation, there is a lot of hope that this drug can provide a new and better method for cancer treatment. This drug could be the last hope for people who have cancers that are aggressive and rapidly fatal.
This drug has tackled cancer therapy in ways unexplored before.
Researchers explain that the drug works by keeping cancer cells from multiplying. There have been some studies in mice but we still don’t know how it will affect humans. In mouse experiments, researchers found that the drug blocks a specific protein. This protein helps cancer cells divide and grow into huge populations.
How does the drug work?
The drug zeroes in on a protein known as Cdc7, preventing it from doing its job. This protein exists in normal cells and functions to help cells divide when they need to grow or heal. In cancer, the cells divide rampantly to extreme numbers depending on Cdc7 for growth. The tumor expands and invades healthy tissues, causing the disease we know as cancer. By stopping the protein, we can stop the growth of these unchecked monsters.
This drug might also be more specific to cancer cells, making it more tolerable with much less side effect. Because cancer cells depend more heavily on Cdc7, blocking it will likely affect the tumor more than the healthy tissues that are around it. By being more specific, we might be able to target cancer cells even in metastatic disease without totally destroying the rest of a person’s body.
An additional weapon of L73143921 hydrate allows it to be versatile.
Aside from its ability to stop cancer from growing, this drug might have extra strength attacking the gene mutation p53.
What is p53? This gene in its normal state is what prevents our healthy cells from constantly dividing and growing.
When p53 is lost due to mutation, it can lift the sanctions on cell division and growth. Because cancer causes most of its damage through uncontrolled growth, it makes sense that many of them have a mutated p53.
The p53 mutation is known to fuel some of the most aggressive solid tumors we know today. High-grade ovarian cancer and squamous non-small cell lung cancer are among some of the most notoriously fatal malignancies. Both these types are associated with high levels of p53 mutation.
L73148921 seems to have extra strength against cells with p53 mutation. It could mean that this drug can be especially strong for very aggressive types of disease. We might also find that it’s effective against many different kinds of cancer because of this p53 activity. This means that the impact of this drug, if it works, could affect so many different patient populations suffering from a broad variety of cancers.
The UK has led the way, bringing this drug to people who need them.
Anxious to launch the drug into action, the UK has now recruited four centers to administer this promising treatment for patients. This is the first time we will see the drug’s effect in humans. The study was made possible with support from the Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development. The director of the Centre, Dr. Nigel Blackburn, says he is proud of their work. He says that the Center has always believed in prioritizing research aiming to find treatment for the most aggressive and untreatable types of cancer.
Who is going to receive the drug?
The first patients to receive the drug will be those with the most severe disease who have exhausted all other options. This includes people with very advanced stage in classically aggressive malignancies such as cancers of the pancreas, ovaries, bladder, and esophagus. Many of these cancers are caught very late, when the cancer has had time to spread throughout the body. Combining the lack of good screening methods as well as the aggressive natural course of these tumor types makes these cancers extremely hard to fight. Many of these people could have been perfectly healthy living normal lives prior to their crushing diagnoses. Where previously there was no hope, L72143921 might be the first of its kind to pave way towards a cure for people with difficult-to-treat cancers.
The trial design
This is the first time L72142931 hydrate will be used in human patients. In the first phases of the trial, investigators will be very careful with monitoring patients trying out the drug. They will need to figure out how safe the drug is and will be testing it only in a very small group of patients for whom this treatment is a last resort.
Initially, phase one consists of studying the toxicities and side effects of the drug. This entails giving the drug in very small doses at first, slowly increasing it in their patients all while monitoring them very closely. This part of the trial is important to document what the maximum safe dose might be.
After the initial safety investigations, the drug will be dispersed to a much larger group of patients who could really benefit from the therapy. From the findings of the first study, they will have determined the highest dose people are able to tolerate yet still be effective. This highest dose will be given to the patients while they continue to be monitored closely. The goal in this phase is to tease out exactly how this drug works in humans.
How this drug may impact the way we treat cancer
Depending on what the study finds, this drug may or may not work. If it works, it might pilot new ways to fight cancer, especially diseases that have spread throughout the body in advanced stage. For people who have failed a tiresome list of aggressive therapy, this new drug might be the last possibility for recovery.