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Drug Made From Cottonseed May Slow Brain Cancer, Researchers Say

Posted on: 06/01/2009

Drug Made From Cottonseed May Slow Brain Cancer, Researchers Say 

By Jeff Wilson

May 29 (Bloomberg) -- An experimental drug derived from cottonseed may slow the growth of the most lethal form of brain cancer, according to researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The drug, AT-101, was used in trials involving 56 patients suffering from glioblastoma multiforme and whose tumors had begun to grow again after undergoing treatments including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. The drug halted progression of the tumor in many of the patients, the university said in a news release.

“After getting this drug, some of these patients went many months without any new growth in their tumors,” John Fiveash, an associate professor in the university’s Department of Radiation Oncology and the lead researcher on the study, said in the release.

About 22,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with tumors of the brain or nervous system each year, with almost 13,000 deaths, according to theNational Cancer Institute. Senator Ted Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in May 2008. Beatle George Harrison died from such a tumor in 2001.

Fiveash will present the test results tomorrow during the American Society for Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting, in Orlando, Florida, according to the statement.

AT-101 is manufactured by Ascenta Therapeutics Inc. based in Malvern, Pennsylvania. Preclinical and clinical trials with AT-101 are being conducted on several tumor types including prostate, lung and B-cell malignancies.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Wilson in Chicago

Last Updated: May 29, 2009 14:37 EDT 


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