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Trial Results Show Compound Makes Radiotherapy More Effective

Trial results show compound makes radiotherapy more effective

2018-12-20 16:40:51



A trial has shown that radiotherapy is more effective when levels of ropidoxuridine in a patients' body reach a certain level





radiotherapy




A
new drug designed to make radiotherapy more effective in treating
cancer has been given to patients while they are receiving radiation and
shown to be safe.





The drug, called
5-iodo-2-pyrimidinone-2?-deoxribose (IPdR), or ropidoxuridine, has the
advantage that patients can take it in capsule form, as opposed to
intravenously. When the drug enters the body, researchers believe it
changes into an active form that can make cancer cells more susceptible
to the effects of radiotherapy.





Results of US NCI trial #9882, presented by Dr Timothy Kinsella from the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital in the USA, show that the drug has minimal side effects when given to patients with a variety of gastrointestinal cancers during the course of their radiotherapy.





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Dr Kinsella explained: "The aim of my research is to find better ways to treat patients with cancer, and specifically to develop ways to make radiation treatment safer and more effective.





"Previous
research found a promising compound called iododeoxyuridine, or IUdR,
that worked very well to improve the effectiveness of radiotherapy, but
IUdR could only be given intravenously and proved to have many side
effects for patients.





"As a result, this new drug, IPdR, was
developed. It's a prodrug that can be taken as a capsule and, once
inside the body, it's converted into the active drug, IUdR.





"This
trial is the first to test it out in patients while they are receiving
radiation therapy, and the results suggest that it's safe with minimal
side effects."





Dr Kinsella and his colleagues tested the new drug
in a group of 18 patients with advanced cancers including oesophageal,
pancreatic, liver, bile duct, rectal and anal cancers. All had been
referred for palliative radiotherapy.





Alongside their
radiotherapy, patients were given a daily dose of the IPdR prodrug over
28 days. They were given blood tests to check on the levels of both the
IPdR prodrug and the active IUdR drug at various points during their
treatment. The dose of the prodrug was gradually increased, and patients
were monitored for side effects.





Results of the trial suggest
that IPdR can be safely given to patients up to a dose of 1200mg per day
for 28 days without causing serious side effects. The results also
suggest that this dose creates levels of the active IUdR drug in
patients' blood that are high enough to have a radiosensitising effect.





Of
the 18 patients on the trial, 14 could be assessed for any effect on
their tumours with a CT or MRI scan 54 days after beginning the
treatment. Among these patients, one had a complete response
(disappearance of tumour), three showed a partial response (at least 30
percent reduction in the tumour targeted by radiotherapy), nine had
stable diseases (no growth in the tumour) and one patient stopped
treatment because of an infection and had progressive disease (at least
20 percent growth in the tumour).





Dr Kinsella added: "This
clinical trial showed that when patients take IPdR at home before coming
for radiation treatment, the level of IUdR in their bloodstream is high
enough to make radiation more effective at killing cancer cells. It
also showed that the dose of IPdR needed to achieve therapeutic levels
of IUdR in the blood causes minimal side effects.





"However, this
trial was with patients who had recurrent cancer and had already
received a number of other cancer treatments. In newly diagnosed
patients, it could be that we can safely use a higher dose and have a
bigger effect on tumours."





Dr Kinsella and his colleagues are
already studying the effects of IPdR in patients receiving whole brain
radiotherapy for cancer that has spread to the brain. Following this
trial, plans are in progress to study the drug in patients who have been
newly diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.





Dr Eric Deutsch, Professor of Radiation Oncology and head of the radiation oncology department and research unit at the Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France, is a member of the EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium scientific committee and was not involved with the research. He commented: "Radiotherapy is a vital element in treating many forms of cancer. This research is investigating whether the IPdR drug could make radiotherapy even more effective for more patients.





"In treating cancer
patients, we must always consider the risks and benefits of any therapy.
In this study, the risks of the IPdR drug were minimal, and the benefit
was that it can be taken by patients at home. We don't have enough
evidence yet on whether IPdR can improve patient outcome, but we hope
that this will become clearer as the research continues."





The research was presented at the 30th EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in Dublin, Ireland.





Original Source: https://www.europeanpharmaceuticalreview.com/news/81355/radiotherapy-more-effective/





Original Date: Nov 16 2018





Written By: European Pharmaceutical Review



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