CTRC treats first patient in novel drug trial

SAN ANTONIO (February 10, 2011) – The first patient in a multi-site Phase I study was treated this week with a new type of drug at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio’s Cancer Therapy & Research Center.

The drug, GO-203-2c, targets a specific protein called MUC1 that is over-expressed in more than half of the estimated 1.4 million cancers diagnosed each year in the U.S., including many breast, colon, and lung cancers. At this time there are no approved drugs that target MUC1.

“People have been trying to target this protein for a long time, but they’ve been going about it the wrong way,” said Alain Mita, M.D., a medical oncologist and assistant professor of medicine at the CTRC. “This agent has been very promising in preclinical and animal studies, and it’s time to move to human trials.” The first patient received the first treatment on Tuesday, he said.

“The study points to the CTRC’s capacity to quickly and efficiently open drug development trials. Those are complex arrangements requiring multiple approvals,” said CTRC director Ian M. Thompson, Jr., M.D. “With our abilities, we can attract novel clinical trials with new agents and offer our patients access to the latest treatments available.”

The CTRC is one of two sites that have contracted with drug developer Genus Oncology, LLC to run the studies. The other is Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare Hospital. Additional sites are currently under consideration.

The Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is one of the elite academic cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Designated Cancer Center, and is one of only four in Texas. A leader in developing new drugs to treat cancer, the CTRC Institute for Drug Development (IDD) conducts one of the largest oncology Phase I clinical drug programs in the world, and participates in development of cancer drugs approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. For more information, visit www.ctrc.net.

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