New drug could help people suffering from cervical cancer

Posted by ap507 at Oct 24, 2014 10:05 AM |
Professor Paul Symonds leads study into effects of cediranib drug in chemotherapy treatment of cervical cancer

In Europe patients with recurrent or secondary cancer have a low chance of survival, with only 20-30% experiencing tumour shrinkage after conventional chemotherapy and life expectancy being diagnosed as less than one year for many. 

Led by Professor Paul Symonds (pictured) from the Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine the study has discovered that adding the investigational agent cediranib, which has been developed by the multinational pharmaceutical and biologics company AstraZeneca, to standard chemotherapy may be beneficial for patients with metastatic or recurrent cervical cancer and could pave the way for future treatment of the disease.

Cancers develop their own blood supply and cancers of the cervix with a well-developed blood supply can have a particularly bad outcome for the patient. 

One of the substances which increases new blood vessels in cervical cancer is Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF).  The experimental drug cediranib blocks the receptor for VEGF in the cancer, potentially limiting its growth in the body.

Professor Symonds says that the next stage of the research will be to conduct an individual patient analysis to look at outcome and VEGF levels, suggesting: “We will also be looking at different biomarkers. We want to find out why a significant number of patients live far longer than we thought they would.”

A video of Professor Paul Symonds discussing cancer as part of the CancerStories project, an e-health innovation providing patients and families with personal accounts of how real patients have coped with their cancer, can be seen below: