Researchers in the UK and US have found that a new experimental drug can stop an advanced cancer tumor from growing and even shrink it.
The treatment, known as PEN-221, has been shown to stabilize neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) in nearly 90% of patients and reduce tumor size in nearly 40%.
NETs are rare cancers that usually occur in the pancreas, intestines or lungs, but can also develop in other parts of the body, with 4,000 diagnosed each year in the UK.
They are made up of cells found throughout the body that form a connection between the nervous system and the endocrine system, a collection of glands that produce hormones.
The treatment combines an anti-cancer molecule with a hormone to deliver the drug directly to the tumor site.
It is given to a patient over an hour and repeated every three weeks until doctors decide whether to reduce or stabilize the tumor.
The Hampshire based charity Planets at University Hospital Southampton under the direction of Dr. Judith Cave was among locations across the UK and US testing the new drug.
Dr. Cave, who was involved in studies with 32 patients, said: “We are also very grateful to our patients because without them this research would not be possible.”
Layla Stephen, a co-founder of Planets, which helps patients with pancreatic, liver, colon, abdominal and neuroendocrine cancers by funding support groups, innovative treatments, and research, participated in the study herself as a NET patient.
She said she saw a 20 percent reduction in her tumor burden after treatment, adding, “I am now calmly confident that this new drug could be a potential game changer for certain NET patients in the near future, if the…” next level continues. “Exams go well.”
The results of the study, led by the University of Texas and funded by Tarveda Therapeutics, were presented on Friday at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) ‘s annual 2021 meeting.
They showed that the drug stopped tumor growth in 88.5% of patients, while 38% had their tumors shrink.
Brian Roberts, President and Chief Executive of Tarveda, said: “The safety and efficacy results of our Phase II study, which showed that PEN-221 was well tolerated and exceeded its clinical efficacy targets in patients with gastrointestinal midgut, are encouraged.” said Brian Roberts Neuroendocrine Tumors. “