New hope for cancer patients through clinical trials

SAN ANTONIO (June 1, 2011) – Fewer than 10 percent of people who have exhausted conventional cancer therapies look into the possibility of participating in a clinical trial, yet those trials are a chance for them to try cutting-edge therapies under close and caring supervision.

They also have the potential to develop new weapons in the fight against cancer.

Anand Karnad, M.D., will talk about clinical trials at the June 9 free public lecture on cancer prevention and treatment at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center at the UT Health Science Center.

“Clinical trials have shown us, for instance, that radical mastectomies are not necessary, reducing the severity of breast surgeries for many women,” said Dr. Karnad, professor of hematology and medical oncology in the School of Medicine at the Health Science Center.

CTRC clinical trials that led to new treatments include original work on pemetrexed (Alimta), now used in lung cancer and mesothelioma, important work on a new class of drugs called m-TOR inhibitors, and landmark clinical trials on taxanes in breast cancer, he said. There are also new drugs being tested for leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma.

Dr. Karnad will also show brief videos of patients describing their experiences in clinical trials, and give examples of ongoing trials.

The presentation will be Thursday, June 9, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the CTRC, 7979 Wurzbach, on the fourth floor of the Grossman Building. Refreshments will be provided.

For more information, call (210) 450-1152.

This is the seventh in a series of free monthly public lectures on cancer sponsored by the CTRC. In July, Ian M. Thompson, Jr., M.D., will speak on “Strength of Spirit in Overcoming Cancer: Scientific Evidence and Personal Stories.”

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

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