Cancer drug in S’pore clinical trial shows promising results

Source: TODAY, 27 June 2015

A new cancer drug which is undergoing a clinical trial in Singapore for the first time has shown promising results, with some patients’ conditions stabilising and a couple of them showing more than a 30 per cent shrinkage in their tumours.

The 28 patients taking part in the Phase I clinical trial of selinexor — also a first for Asia — suffer from various cancers in the advanced stages, including renal, colon, lung, oesophageal, pancreatic, and rectal. They had previously gone through other standard treatments for their cancers, but their diseases were still progressing when they started to participate in the trial.

The Phase I trial, which began last April and is still ongoing, is conducted at the Developmental Therapeutics Unit of the National University Cancer Institute Singapore (NCIS). Of the 28 participants in the trial — in which they take selinexor orally during prescribed periods — 19 have been evaluated. More than half of the patients evaluated have shown positive results.

Two patients with lymphoma have had more than a 30 per cent shrinkage in their tumours. The conditions of twelve patients have stabilised, with tumour shrinkage of less than 30 per cent, or tumour growth of less than 20 per cent.

Dr David Tan, consultant at NCIS’ Department of Haematology-Oncology and principal investigator in the clinical trial, said: “… Our results indicate that this is a drug that is able to slow the growth rate of, and in some cases, shrink these highly treatment-resistant cancers.”

It is not known when the drug will be registered for treatment.