BusinessWeek.com ran a Health Day News article earlier this week reporting new research that shows ovarian cancer patients with the BRCA2 gene mutation are more likely to survive than those with the BRCA1 mutation or patients without either mutation.
U.S. researchers analyzed 3,531 cases of epithelial ovarian cancer, comprised of:
- 1,178 patients with BRCA1 mutations
- 367 with BRCA2 mutations
- 1,986 with neither mutation
Five-year survival rates were as follows:
- 61 percent for those with the BRCA2 mutation
- 46 percent for those with the BRCA1 mutation
- 36 percent for those with neither mutation
Kelly Bolton, a fellow at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, stated in the American Association for Cancer Research press release,
“There was some previous evidence that women with ovarian cancer who have mutations in the BRCA genes show improved survival compared to non-mutation carriers. Our study clearly shows that this survival difference is real. We also provide the first solid evidence that BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations don’t have the same impact on ovarian cancer survival.”
About 1 in 400 to 1 in 800 women are born with either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, which increase the risk of ovarian and breast cancer. About 5 percent of ovarian cancer patients have BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations.
One company striving to increase the survival rate of ovarian cancer patients is Access Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTCBB:ACCP, Stock Twits: $ACCP) with their lead oncology drug, ProLindac. Access has completed a phase 2 monotherapy study with ProLindac in ovarian cancer patients. The drug in development also addresses neurotoxicity, the dose-limiting cumulative adverse effect of standard chemotherapies today as it utilizes a safe, water-soluble nanoparticulate system to deliver DACH platinum (the active moiety of oxaliplatin) to tumors.
Platinum-based drugs are among the largest classes of chemotherapeutics and oxaliplatin (Eloxatin; Sanofi-Aventis) is a DACH platinum drug that is commonly used and slated to be released as an injectable this year, but has been the source of a continuous battle with generics.
The role of the Access’ nanoparticulate formulation of DACH platinum is to deliver more drug to the tumor while reducing delivery to normal tissue, thus increasing the drug’s effectiveness and decreasing the toxic side-effects. ProLindac has been shown to be much more effective than oxaliplatin in a large number of murine tumor models, including a phase 1 clinical study which showed that at least five times more DACH platinum could be administered to patients with ProLindac than oxaliplation without threats of neurotoxicity.
Positive data has been achieved regularly for ProLindac through pre-clinicals, Phase I and now Phase II clinical trials. Access intends to continue Phase II research with additional studies that will concentrate on the use of ProLindac in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents such as paclitaxel, gemcitabine, 5FU/leucovorin and flouropyrimidines in various clinical settings.