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New Cancer Drug Improves on Standard Chemotherapy

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November 2, 2005

CHICAGO --- Abraxane, a novel chemotherapy, has significantly higher response rates compared to those with standard paclitaxel (Taxol®), longer time to tumor progression and significant survival benefit, according to a study in the Nov. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The study confirmed preclinical study results that showed that Abraxane had superior efficacy and reduced toxicity compared with standard paclitaxel, said William J. Gradishar, M.D., principal investigator on the study.

“The significance of these data to patient outcomes should be recognized when selecting treatment options for eligible patients,” Gradishar said.

Gradishar is professor of medicine, division of hematology/oncology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, director of breast cancer oncology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and a researcher at The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

Abraxane works by using nanotechnology to combine paclitaxel, the proven tumor-fighting drug, and albumin, a natural protein in the body that transports and distributes nutrients to cells.

The albumin nanoparticle, which is 100 times smaller than the size of a red blood cell, carries more anticancer drug directly to the tumor.

As a result, Abraxane can be administered at a 50 percent higher dose with nearly double the response rate (percentage of patients whose cancer shrinks or disappears) of paclitaxel – over a period of 30 minutes as opposed to three-hour infusions for standard paclitaxel.

Topics: Research