Drug lulls cancer cells to sleep for good

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 26, 2012 10:20 hrs

London, Nov 26 (IANS) Aflibercept, a new drug, practically tricks tumours into passivity by flipping molecular switches in cancer's structure and making them as good as dead.

Trials conducted in the UK, involving more than 1,400 patients, some with advanced bowel cancer, are showing positive results with the novel drug, where patients are reporting "significant" extension of life.

Aflibercept had a "statistically significant survival benefit" compared to conventional drug regimes treating bowel cancer that had spread after initial treatment, the Journal of Clinical Oncology reported.

Rob Glynne Jones, Macmillan clinical lead for gastrointestinal cancer at Mount Vernon Hospital in Northwood, Middlesex, said: "The trial results were positive."

"Around 10,000 patients a year die from bowel cancer and most of them are having some form of chemotherapy so it is theoretically applicable to those. I am sure this drug will have a research programme and they will be extending it to all other cancers," said Jones, according to the Daily Mail.

Aflibercept is administered as a 30−minute infusion alongside chemotherapy. It is available in the US, and European approval is expected soon.

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