30 Aug 2012

Cancer drug trial gets go-ahead

3:06 pm on 30 August 2012

Patients are being recruited for a trial of new anti-cancer drug that has been developed by a team of New Zealand scientists.

The PR610 drug belongs to a new class of treatment that scientists hope will target tumors that are resistant to other forms of medicine.

It was developed by a team at Maurice Wilkins Centre based at the University of Auckland.

Human clinical trials of the drug have been given approval by the US Food and Drug Administration.

The first will focus on non-small cell lung cancer which has become resistant to other treatment and will take place in Auckland City Hospital and Waikato Hospital and at sites in the United States.

One of the lead scientists, Jeff Smaill says if the initial tests are successful future trials could include patients with breast, colon and pancreatic cancers.

Dr Smaill says it could be another five or six years before the trials are completed and the drug is approved.