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

April 1, 1997

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

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

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

Cisplatin stays in the bloodstream for only a short time, and much ofthe drug is destroyed before it reaches cancer cells. Fat envelopes mayprotect the cisplatin and increase the chance that the drug will reachcancer 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 effectiveamounts of a powerful chemotherapy, with fewer side effects," explainedDr. Creaven.

Enrollment in the Roswell Park study is limited to 30 to 35 patientswith 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 theSPI-77 therapy.

The study, which is already in progress, will continue for approximately6 to 9 months. For general enrollment information on the study, call ElmerBerghom, rn, at 716-845-3114.