New international study targets rare cancer bringing hope for advanced thymic cancer patients

December 08, 2009

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Dec. 8, 2009 -- The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Scottsdale Healthcare are testing a new drug specifically for thymic cancer based on early promising results at Scottsdale Healthcare.

PHA-848125ac is produced by Nerviano Medical Sciences of Milan, Italy's largest pharmaceutical research and development facility. It is designed to stop abnormal cell division and duplication, a common feature of cancer.

"From the initial trial in patients with advanced cancers, this drug is well tolerated. We are now focusing on thymic cancer based on our initial results, to hopefully find a treatment that is successful for this rare cancer -- where there is no standard approved treatment," said Dr. Glen J. Weiss, principal investigator for this trial and Director of Thoracic Oncology at TGen Clinical Research Services (TCRS) at Scottsdale Healthcare.

TCRS is a partnership between TGen and Scottsdale Healthcare that enables laboratory discoveries to be quickly turned into targeted therapies that can be tested with patients at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center in Scottsdale.

This Phase 2 clinical trial of as many as 60 adults with advanced thymic cancer will help determine if PHA-848125ac is an active drug for this disease. The thymus is a small organ near the lungs and heart that is a key part of the body's immune system during fetal and childhood development.

Dr. Jeffrey Isaacs of Southwest Hematology Oncology in Phoenix, has seen first-hand how this agent made a difference for patients with thymic cancer. He said he is enthusiastic about a drug specifically targeting this rare cancer population to hopefully improve their outcomes.
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PHA-848125ac will be administered orally daily for seven days every two weeks. The study will only be open at Scottsdale Healthcare and the Institute Gustave Roussy in France.

For more information about clinical trials and eligibility, contact TCRS's patient care coordinator Joyce Ingold, R.N., at 480-323-1339, toll free at 1-877-273-3713 or at clinicaltrials@shc.org.

Find out more about TCRS clinical trials at www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=TGen&pg=1.



About the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare

The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare offers diagnosis, treatment, research, prevention and support in its facilities at the Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center, attracting patients from across Arizona and the U.S. Groundbreaking cancer research is conducted through its Scottsdale Clinical Research Institute and TGen Clinical Research Service. Scottsdale Healthcare is the not-for-profit parent organization of the Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital, Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center, Scottsdale Clinical Research Institute and Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation. For additional information, please visit www.shc.org.

Press Contact:

Keith Jones, Director of Public Relations
Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare
480-882-4412
kjones@shc.org



About TGen


The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. Research at TGen is focused on helping patients with diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes. TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research where investigators are able to unravel the genetic components of common and complex diseases. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities, TGen believes it can make a substantial contribution to the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. TGen is affiliated with the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For more information, please visit: www.tgen.org.

Press Contact:

Steve Yozwiak
TGen Senior Science Writer
602-343-8704
syozwiak@tgen.org



About Nerviano Medical Sciences


Nerviano Medical Sciences is the largest pharmaceutical research and development facility in Italy, and one of the largest oncology-focused, integrated discovery and development companies in Europe. For more information, please visit: www.nervianoms.com/cont/en/home-page/0705/2500/home-page.asp.

The Translational Genomics Research Institute

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