Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Researchers seek women for cancer tests

By Peggy O'Farrell • July 14, 2009

University of Cincinnati researchers are studying an experimental drug they hope will provide another option for treating recurrent ovarian cancer. They are recruiting women with ovarian cancer for the clinical trial of the experimental drug EC145.

Recurrent ovarian cancer is aggressive and often difficult to treat, said W. Edward Richards, the gynaecologic oncology expert heading up the local portion of the national study.

There are no effective universal screening tests for ovarian cancer, and 75 percent of women diagnosed with it have an advanced stage when the disease is diagnosed, Richards said. Most women diagnosed with advanced-stage cancer will have a recurrence, he said.

Current standard-of-care includes surgery, plus a two-drug regimen using platinum-based chemotherapy. The chemotherapy is less effective on recurrent cancer.

The experimental drug is designed to deliver chemotherapy to specific cells linked to the cancer. All cells need the vitamin folic acid, or B-9 to function. Ovarian cancer cells need more of the vitamin than normal cells. The cancer cells can capture the vitamin as it moves through the bloodstream, feeding the cells' rapid growth.

EC145 takes advantage of the cancer cell's need for B-9. The drug is attached to vitamin molecules, and cancer cells absorb both the vitamin and the chemotherapy drug.

"Once the drug is absorbed into the cell, it will link the anti-cancer agent to the cancer cell, and should result in targeted cell death," Richards said.

If the drug is successful, it will mean more effective treatment with fewer side effects, he said.

"We are in dire need of alternative therapies for ovarian cancer when standard-of-care fails," Richards said.


  1. That sounds like an interesting trial! Thanks for the info!

  2. Thanks for the info. I'll add it to my file.

  3. I will keep that in mind if mine returns.


If you would like to comment on anything in this blog, or share your own thoughts, feel free, I would love to hear from you.