A promising new drug that is designed to treat prostate cancer has already performed exceptionally well in animal testing, and it is now ready to be used in clinical trials. The drug, which is called EPI-506, has been used to successfully shrink the tumors of mice.
The lead designer of the drug Dr. Marianne Sadar said of her success in using the drug on mice, “I remember running around the building and showing everyone those photographs in sheer delight. I could not sleep for two weeks I was just so wound up. It was such an exciting moment.”
Now, Dr. Sadar hopes to experience similar success in the clinical trials. According to Dr. Sadar, the drug works in a unique way. EPI-506 attacks the back of a prostate cancer cell protein, which makes the cancer more vulnerable to hormones such as testosterone.
Most of the earlier drugs focused on the front of the proteins. By focusing on the back of the proteins, the cancer cells are less likely to develop resistances. From there, the cancer cells can be treated more easily.
Dr. Sadar said, “This part that we’re directing our drug to is the Achilles heel. It’s our hope and our expectation that this drug may actually work where all the other drugs are failing.”
According to Dr. Sadar, EPI-506 is the first ever drug in its class. It is unique in itself and not a sort of copy of any previously developed drug. Additionally, it can identify cancer cells regardless of whatever shape the proteins might take in order to disguise themselves.
Many people who have donated money to the research of Dr. Sadar are extremely happy with the announcement.
Prostate cancer survivor Garry McClure stated, “I’m just very pleased. It makes all the work worthwhile.”
The first phase of clinical trials began earlier this week on Wednesday throughout North America. The clinical trial at the British Columbia Cancer Agency in Canada is being conducted by medical oncologist Dr. Kim Chi.
According to Dr. Chi, the initial stage of the clinical trial will involve up to 50 participants. Doctors will try to determine proper dosage levels and the preliminary effects of the drug.
Dr. Chi said, “This is a very exciting development. This is a novel way of targeting prostate cancer. It hasn’t been done before.”
After that, a larger second phase will test the efficacy of the drug and whether or not it is worth large scale testing. Like any new drug testing, volunteers could experience unknown side effects. It is possible that the drug could hit the market within the next five years.