Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

North's Research Leads to a Global Legacy

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

North's Research Leads to a Global Legacy

Article excerpt

A ground-breaking ovarian cancer drug discovered in Newcastle is set to improve the lives of women with a genetically distinct advanced ovarian cancer.

Each year, around 7,400 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer across the UK. There are around 4,100 deaths every year from ovarian cancer*. These striking statistics highlight the importance of research to find gentler treatments and new tests.

Many research projects across the UK, like that in Newcastle, benefit from the generosity of people leaving a gift to Cancer Research UK in their will.

Pioneering ovarian cancer treatment, Rubraca, was developed with the help of Cancer Research UK funded researchers at the CRUK Newcastle Cancer Centre during the 1990s and in April this year was approved by the food and drug administration (FDA) for use in North America.

Professor Ruth Plummer, clinical professor of experimental cancer medicine at Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was one of the researchers involved in the drug development and was the first clinician to prescribe Rubraca as part of a clinical trial to a patient from the North-east.

Rubraca is a class of drug known as a PARP inhibitor, which exploits a defect in the cancer cell's ability to repair normal wear and tear to its DNA to kill the tumour cells without unduly harming healthy cells.

The oral medication has a high success rate, studies have shown, with 54% of women on clinical trials experiencing complete or partial shrinkage of their tumour for an average of 9.2 months.

Professor Plummer said: "The licensing of Rubraca by the FDA is very exciting and the culmination of many years of work by cancer researchers in Newcastle."

Approval of the drug for use is a great achievement for the team at Newcastle University and a shining example of collaboration and the impact of Cancer Research UK's funding. …

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