The following stories appear in full on today's Vidyya Medical News Service Web site.
Three articles in today's issue of Vidyya take a look at an area of cancer research that focuses on a group of compounds called angiogenesis inhibitors. These are drugs that block the development of new blood vessels, a process known as angiogenesis. Solid tumors cannot grow beyond the size of a pinhead (1 to 2 cubic millimeters) without inducing the formation of new blood vessels to supply the nutritional and other needs of the tumor. By blocking the development of new blood vessels, researchers are hoping to cut off the tumor's supply of oxygen and nutrients, and therefore its continued growth and spread to other parts of the body.
Several drugs designed to cut off a tumor's blood supply, including the widely publicized Endostatin, are showing promise in early (phase I) clinical trials, according to reports from a meeting on new cancer drugs that took place earlier this month in Amsterdam. Researchers at the Symposium on New Drugs in Cancer Therapy reported on seven different anti-angiogenesis drugs.
Vidyya presents an overview of some of the current trials of anti-angiogenesis agents. It is not a comprehensive summary of all of the clinical trials ongoing with drugs that inhibit angiogenesis, but an attempt to list many of the more important agents under investigation.
In other research news, high-dose interferon alfa-2b (Intron-A) was found to significantly prolong survival in high-risk melanoma patients as compared to the melanoma vaccine known as GMK, according to early reports from a large, randomized trial. These results are from a multicenter study evaluating the use of the two treatments as additional (adjuvant) therapy in patients with thick melanomas or lymph node involvement after surgical removal of the primary tumor.
155,000 Canadians who took diet pills, Ponderal and Redux, will now be able to pursue suit against the pharmaceutical companies who marketed the drugs. A ruling by Madam Justice Susan Gray of the Ontario Divisional Court will allow for arguments that Ponderal and Redux caused serious illnesses to be heard.
As always, we hope you enjoy the issue.