A clinical trial to test a new cancer drug in patients with advanced solid tumours has launched in four centres across the UK, through Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development.

This early phase trial will test the safety and tolerability of the drug and establish the recommended dose for patients with a variety of cancers including advanced bowel, lung, ovarian, urothelial, pancreatic, breast, head and neck, and oesophageal cancer.

In the first part of the trial, groups of patients will receive increasing doses of the drug, called LY3143921 hydrate, to find the safest dose that best targets the cancer cells. The drug, discovered by Eli Lilly, was brought to Cancer Research UK through the charity’s Clinical Development Partnership scheme.

In the second part, larger groups of patients will receive the highest tolerated dose, so that researchers can investigate how the drug is working on the cancer cells.

The drug has not yet been tested in people but has shown promise in mice by selectively inhibiting Cdc7, a protein that helps cells to reproduce correctly.

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The drug will be delivered orally once a day for 21 days and this cycle will then be repeated up to 12 times.

Professor Richard Wilson, Cancer Research UK-funded clinical researcher and chief investigator at the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre, said: “We hope that this new cancer drug might – in the future – provide patients who have tried all available treatment options another opportunity to stop their cancer cells from multiplying and control their disease.

“It’s very early days, but this trial will help us to understand whether this drug could help cancer patients and whether it has the potential to stop the growth of many different cancer types, particularly those with loss of p53 function.”


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