| 20.01,12. 05:40 PM |
Aussie cancer drug hope
January 20, 2012
A DRUG designed to kill cancerous cells while leaving healthy ones intact has been tested on Australian patients.
Melbourne scientists said the treatment could revolutionise the treatment of blood, breast, kidney, prostate and colon cancers.
Associate Professor Martin Lackmann, of Monash University's department of biochemistry and molecular biology, said the trial was exciting because the drug, KB004, was discovered, designed and tested in Australia.
"We believe this antibody has the potential to provide significant benefit to a range of patients with blood cancers or solid tumours, given its potential to attack different types of cancerous cells," Prof Lackmann said.
Dr Andrew Wei, of Monash's Australian Centre for Blood Diseases, said the way KB004 worked meant it would lack the severe side effects of chemotherapy.
The phase 1 clinical trial began on leukaemia patients at The Alfred this year.
Unlike many cancer drugs, KB004's target is almost exclusively cancer cells and cells in cancerous tissue.
Researchers from Monash University, the Queensland Institute of Medical Research and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research developed the early version of the therapeutic antibody on which it is based.