Updated on 30 July 2015
The study was published in the journal The Lancet Haematology,
Singapore: According to a study published in the journal, The Lancet Haematology, a new drug has shown promise in its early human clinical trial to treat the deadly blood cancer. The drug, currently in its phase II trial, acts by coaxing dormant cancer stem cells residing in the bone marrow, to begin differentiating and exit into the blood stream where they can be destroyed by chemotherapy agents.
The drug called PF-04449913 was tested in 47 adults with blood and marrow cancer who received escalating daily doses of the drug in 28-day cycles. Treatment cycles were repeated until a participant experienced unacceptable adverse effects without evidence of clinical improvement. The drug elicited clinical activity sufficient to establish proof-of-concept for the treatment in 23 individuals, or nearly half the study participants.
Lead author, Ms Catriona Jamieson, associate professor of medicine at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in the US, said, "This drug is a significant step forward in treating people with refractory or resistant myeloid leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome and myelofibrosis."
Ms Jamieson noted that the drug was found to be safe and can be easily administered like aspirin in a single, daily oral tablet. Given the promising results, the drug's efficacy as a treatment for different types of blood cancer is now being investigated in five phase II clinical trials.