Therapy targets folate receptors found on cancer cells otherwise resistant to standard chemo
ZION, IL, June 16, 2009 - Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) at Midwestern Regional Medical Center, a leading provider of innovative cancer care for patients living with complex and advanced-stage disease, is the only hospital in Illinois and Wisconsin to take part in new clinical research involving a treatment designed to target ovarian cancer cells otherwise resistant to standard chemotherapy.
The Phase II clinical study, called "PRECEDENT," is designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of EC145, a drug currently being studied in the treatment for women with ovarian cancer who develop a resistance to standard platinum-based chemotherapy. EC145 was developed by Endocyte, a privately-held biotechnology company.
"With EC145, we’re working to target a powerful chemotherapy drug directly to cancer cells while sparing the healthy cells," says Dr. Sybilann Williams, MD, gynecologic oncologist and surgeon at Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center and principal investigator for the PRECEDENT study. "EC145 is designed to target the folate receptors found in high concentrations on cancer cells," she adds.
In order to be eligible for the PRECEDENT study, patients must have platinum-resistant ovarian cancer where the disease has progressed or recurred within six months of a first or second treatment with a platinum-based chemotherapy drug. Those eligible will be treated with Doxil® (pegylated liposomal doxorubicin), an approved drug used to treat ovarian cancer, or with Doxil® and EC145, which combines a vinca-deritive drug and folate (vitamin B-9).
The PRECEDENT study is yet another example of CTCA’s commitment to expanding medical treatment options for women battling ovarian cancer. In October 2008, CTCA at Midwestern Regional Medical Center announced a ground-breaking clinical trial of an ovarian cancer vaccine called o-Vax that uses cells taken from an individual patient’s tumor to stimulate immune cells to attack the existing cancer. Patients continue to be accepted for this clinical trial.
"CTCA offers a powerful combination of traditional and innovative therapies provided by a team of cancer experts who work with each patient individually, to determine the appropriate combination of therapies to fight cancer," Dr. Williams says.
Ovarian cancer is the ninth most common cancer among women, and the leading cause of death due to cancer of the female reproductive system. According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that there will be 21,550 new cases of ovarian cancer in the U.S. in 2009 and 14,600 cancer-related deaths. A woman’s risk of getting invasive ovarian cancer during her lifetime is about one out of every 71 women.
Patients interested in the clinical trial may contact a CTCA Oncology Information Specialist at 877-98-TRIAL.
Endocyte is a privately-held biotechnology company with headquarters in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette, IN. Based on the applications of Endocyte’s advanced proprietary Drug Guidance System (DGS), the Company is working to develop new drugs and diagnostic agents to treat many types of cancer and other serious diseases. The DGS platform makes it possible to use highly-potent drugs on extended and frequent dosing schedules and in combination with other drugs to maximize efficacy. The technology improves drug targeting and reduces the risk of side effects by combining drugs with ligands that are able to identify and attach to receptors found on tumor and other disease cells. Endocyte is currently conducting three separate Phase 2 clinical trials for its lead compound, EC145, together with EC20, a companion molecular imaging agent, for the treatment of ovarian cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Other clinical-stage products in the Endocyte pipeline include: EC0225, a combination of two potent anticancer drugs; BMS493, a potent drug being developed in partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb; EC17, a targeted immunotherapy agent; and EC0489, a targeted cancer drug. The Company also has multiple product candidates in pre-clinical stage development.
About Cancer Treatment Centers of America
Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Inc. (CTCA) is a national network of hospitals focusing on complex and advanced stage cancer. CTCA offers a comprehensive, fully integrated approach to cancer treatment and serves patients from all 50 states at facilities located in Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Tulsa. Known for delivering the Mother Standard® of care and Patient Empowerment Medicine®, CTCA provides patients with information about cancer and their treatment options so they can control their treatment decisions. For more information about CTCA, go to www.cancercenter.com.