11
Sep

New Breast Cancer Drug to Get First Clinical Trial in Ireland

Researchers to recruit over 100 breast cancer patients for trials with Copanlisib  

Ireland will become the first country to do clinical trials using a new drug which could increase success rates in treating 25 per cent of breast cancers.

Following a breakthrough by Irish researchers, cialis Copanlisib will go forward for trial before the end of the year, malady and could prove a lifesaver for some of the 2,800 women who are diagnosed with breast cancer in every year.

Copanlisib works by preventing resistance of cancerous cells to the existing treatment drug Herceptin, thereby improving its success rates.

The new drug, manufactured by German pharmaceutical company Bayer, is administered orally and would be used with standard therapies such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Researchers will seek to recruit over 100 breast cancer patients for the upcoming trial.

Irish Cancer Society researcher Naomi Elster said: “We know that up to 50 per cent of women who receive Herceptin become resistant to it, at which point we don’t really have another treatment option to make available to them.”

She says her lab findings for tests carried out on a range of different cancerous cells may prove particularly beneficial to women suffering from HER2-positive breast cancer, a very aggressive form of the disease.

“HER2 promotes the cancer, but it also is the target for Herceptin which can find higher levels of HER2 and kill them when it works,” she said.

“It’s the first time in the world this treatment will be tested for breast cancer, and it’s really quite amazing for Ireland in terms of economy and in terms of international reputation. Irish patients will be the first in the world to get it.

“In the lab we’ve got other researchers looking at it in lung cancer, colorectal cancer and stomach cancer, so there is the potential that this study could light the way for studies in other cancers,” she said.

Consultant oncologist Prof Bryan Hennessy stressed that the drug may yet have a hugely positive impact on a quarter of all breast cancers, calling it a “massive step forward [THAT]will help save many more lives”.

Ms Elster and Prof Hennessy were speaking at the launch of the Irish Cancer Society’s annual Paint it Pink appeal, which aims to raise funds for research and support services throughout October.

People are encouraged to host tea and coffee mornings or have a ‘pink day’ at work to help with the fundraiser.

The society’s chief executive John McCormack said: “We raised over €1 million with the benefit of the ‘No makeup selfie’ last year, so we’re hoping to get close to a €1 million this year.

“That pays for all our breast cancer services; research, our cancer helpline, our daffodil centres, our night-nursing service and our financial support, so it’s a pretty big deal for us.”

Original article:  http://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/new-breast-cancer-drug-to-get-first-clinical-trial-in-ireland-1.2344434