New cancer drug shrinks tumour in phase 1 trial
A drug that could stop cancer cells repairing themselves has shown early signs of working.
More than half of the 40 patients given berzosertib had the growth of their tumours halted.
The study involved those with very advanced tumours, for whom no other treatment had worked.
It was even more effective when given alongside chemotherapy.
It is the first to be trialled of a new family of treatments, blocking a protein in DNA repair.
Blocking this protein prevents cancers from mending damage to their cells.
A patient's tumours shrunk after receiving treatment for six years now.
Berzosertib is able to target tumour cells without affecting other healthy cells
In the future, these drugs could be used to "boost the effect of treatments like chemotherapy".
If used alone this could provide a less aggressive option than chemotherapy.
The next phase of the trial is already underway.
Research by Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and the Royal Marsden NHS Trust
Mentioned in this article:
Chris Lord - Professor of cancer genomics at the ICR
Darius Widera - Associate Professor, University of Reading
Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust - Hospital dedicated to cancer diagnosis, treatment, research and education.
University of Reading - Public university in Reading, England