This is great news, prolongs life without any side effects.  The technology being studied and targets here is called PARP, or poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase. 

The drug prevents cancer cells from repairing their own DNA, thus enhancing the potential of chemotherapy and radiation radiation therapy to have the cell self destruct.  The announcement was made at the ASCO convention this week.  BD

Billionaire Paul Allen made windfall profits from his investment in BiPar Sciences, and today we can really see why. The Brisbane, CA-based biotech company founded by Allen’s Vulcan investment firm said today that its drug candidate for women with an aggressive form of breast cancer was able to help them live longer without adding side effects to standard chemotherapy.image

Women who were randomly assigned to get the BiPar drug, BSI-201, in combination with chemotherapy lived a median time of 9.2 months, compared with 5.7 months for those who just got the chemo, gemcitabine and carboplatin, researchers said today at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Orlando, FL. The trial of 116 women also demonstrated BiPar’s treatment shrank or stabilized tumors, and slowed the spread of malignancy, researchers said today in a plenary presentation at the conference, which has attracted 30,000 cancer specialists.

BiPar has generated buzz because it aims to develop the first drug to block an enzyme called PARP. This approach—which is being pursued by Genentech and others—is designed to prevent cancer cells from repairing their own DNA, which is one of the deft little tricks tumors employ to bounce back after their DNA has been damaged by chemotherapies. BiPar’s lead drug, BSI-201, is being studied in mid-stage clinical trials for an aggressive form of breast cancer known as the “triple negative” variety, as well as ovarian cancer and other tumor types. 

BiPar Sciences will initiate a Phase 3 clinical study of BSI-201 in triple negative metastatic breast cancer in Summer 2009.image

In a related story, some experts stated they also felt antidepressants may hinder anti-cancer drugs. 

Breast Cancer Bombshell: Vulcan-Backed BiPar Wows Scientists, Helps Women Live Longer | Xconomy

Related Reading:

New Technology Assesses Breast Cancer Risk – The Breast Pap 

10-Year-Old Girl With Breast Cancer – Fullerton, CA

Healthcare Patents – How Long and How Much is Becoming a Challenging Question

GE Healthcare to Commercialize Cytori Therapeutics Stem Cell Technology – Regenerative Medicine

Stem Cells and Breast Surgery

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