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Roswell Park to Administer "Old" Drug in a New Way

Roswell Park to Administer "Old" Drug in a New Way

Roswell Park Cancer Institute is currently recruiting patients for the first phase I study to test a novel method of delivering cisplatin (Platinol) to tumors. The new treatment, called SPI-77, carries cisplatin via a special vehicle called a STEALTH liposome.

"Although other drugs have been placed successfully into liposomes or 'fat envelopes,' it has been very difficult to do the same with cisplatin," explained Patrick Creaven, md, phd, senior investigator, Department of Solid Tumor Oncology and Investigational Therapeutics at Roswell Park.

Cisplatin stays in the bloodstream for only a short time, and much of the drug is destroyed before it reaches cancer cells. Fat envelopes may protect the cisplatin and increase the chance that the drug will reach cancer cells, but ordinary liposomes are rapidly removed from the bloodstream. In contrast, the STEALTH liposome, developed by the Sequus Corporation (Menlo Park, California), stays in the bloodstream for many hours.

"STEALTH liposomes allow us to administer larger, more effective amounts of a powerful chemotherapy, with fewer side effects," explained Dr. Creaven.

Enrollment in the Roswell Park study is limited to 30 to 35 patients with advanced cancer who are not candidates for conventional therapies. The researchers hope to determine optimal drug dosages, evaluate side effects, and identify--and later target--those cancers that respond best to the SPI-77 therapy.

The study, which is already in progress, will continue for approximately 6 to 9 months. For general enrollment information on the study, call Elmer Berghom, rn, at 716-845-3114.

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