Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New class of drug targets skin cancer

Date:
May 7, 2013
Source:
University of New South Wales
Summary:
A new class of drug targeting skin cancer's genetic material has been successfully tested in humans for the first time, opening the way to new treatments for a range of conditions from skin cancers to eye diseases.

Beachgoers. A new class of drug targeting skin cancer's genetic material has been successfully tested in humans for the first time.
Credit: haveseen / Fotolia

A new class of drug targeting skin cancer's genetic material has been successfully tested in humans for the first time, opening the way to new treatments for a range of conditions from skin cancers to eye diseases.

Related Articles


The research involves the drug Dz13, a targeted molecular therapy, which was developed at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and has now been found to be safe in a clinical trial of patients with the common skin cancer, basal-cell carcinoma.

"This is the first report of a drug of this type to be used in humans," says UNSW Medicine's Professor Levon Khachigian, who has been developing the DNAzyme technology for 10 years.

"It's a smart drug, which targets a bad protein that controls tumour growth and spread," says Professor Khachigian, the Director of the UNSW Centre for Vascular Research. The collaborative trial was conducted by researchers from UNSW, the University of Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

The findings have been published today in the journal The Lancet.

"Even though we were only testing for safety, there were unexpected positive effects," says Professor Khachigian.

"The drug knocked down levels of this bad protein and the tumours shrunk in the majority of patients."

The researchers hope subsequent trials will prove that larger doses of the drug over a longer time period will be more effective.

"Targeted molecular therapy like this might also offer novel, effective, and less invasive therapeutic options for basal-cell carcinoma," says Professor Gary Halliday, from the University of Sydney, who is one of the co-authors of the study.

If the next stages of the clinical trials in basal-cell carcinoma are successful, the researchers hope that within three years, the drug could be used as a treatment for these cancers, reducing scarring and the costs and inconvenience associated with surgery.

Basal-cell carcinoma is the most common cancer among fair-skinned people worldwide with Australia having the highest incidence.

"This may be a 'one-size fits all' therapy, because it targets a master regulator gene called c-Jun which appears to be involved in a range of diseases," says Professor Khachigian, who predicts that melanoma and eye diseases including macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy are the likely future targets for research.

A phase one trial in skin melanoma is expected to begin in a month.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of New South Wales. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Eun-Ae Cho, Fergal J Moloney, Hong Cai, Annie Au-Yeung, Carlos China, Richard A Scolyer, Benafsha Yosufi, Mark J Raftery, Jason Z Deng, Stephen W Morton, Paula T Hammond, Hendrik-Tobias Arkenau, Diona L Damian, Douglas J Francis, Colin N Chesterman, Ross St C Barnetson, Gary M Halliday, Levon M Khachigian. Safety and tolerability of an intratumorally injected DNAzyme, Dz13, in patients with nodular basal-cell carcinoma: a phase 1 first-in-human trial (DISCOVER). The Lancet, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)62166-7

Cite This Page:

University of New South Wales. "New class of drug targets skin cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507095854.htm>.
University of New South Wales. (2013, May 7). New class of drug targets skin cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507095854.htm
University of New South Wales. "New class of drug targets skin cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507095854.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins