Magazine article Drug Topics

Cancer Rx Duo Offers Promise with Caution

Magazine article Drug Topics

Cancer Rx Duo Offers Promise with Caution

Article excerpt

From the vast promised land of investigational agents that have worked miracles in lab animals afflicted with man's most catastrophic illnesses, two previously insignificant compounds have been singled out by the media and perhaps destined for greatness.

The famous duo, angiostatin and endostatin, has been reported to eradicate virtually any type of cancerous tumor, with no apparent side effects or drug resistance. This was done by inhibiting angiogenesis process characterized by development of blood vessels needed for the destructive mass to thrive. And, of course, the great deed was accomplished in mice-not humans.

Some researchers, led by the drugs' discoverer, Judah Folkman, M.D., of Boston Children's Hospital, stress that the findings are still very preliminary and certainly cannot be extrapolated to humans. After all, dozens of other investigational antineoplastic agents have been successful in eradicating tumors in animals but turned out to be a disappointment when introduced to humans. The National Cancer Institute is encouraged by the findings, despite their prematurity, and has made further development of the drugs a top priority. …

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