First Patients Enroll in Phase 2 Trial of Acelarin as Treatment for Chemo-resistant Ovarian Cancer

First Patients Enroll in Phase 2 Trial of Acelarin as Treatment for Chemo-resistant Ovarian Cancer
NuCana has started a Phase 2 clinical trial of its ovarian cancer therapy Acelarin (NUC-1031) by enrolling the first patients in the United States and Britain. It will continue to recruit 64 participants who failed to respond to platinum-based chemotherapy. The trial "is a major step in the expansion of the NuCana product pipeline and advances our strategy of rapidly developing our ProTides to benefit cancer patients globally,” Hugh Griffith, NuCana's CEO, said in a press release. “We are grateful to the patients and clinicians [doctors] who are making this study possible.” Doctors often use Eli Lilly's Gemzar (gemcitabine) to make ovarian cancer more susceptible to platinum-based chemotherapy, but some tumors develop resistance to it. NuCana designed Acelarin to overcome the mechanisms that cancer cells use to resist Gemzar.  It is based on the structures of two chemotherapy agents, gemcitabine and 5-fluorouracil. The idea is that a combination of the agents will be more effective than either alone. “Acelarin’s ability to overcome key cancer cell resistance mechanisms resulting in significantly greater levels of the active anti-cancer metabolite differentiates it from other treatment approaches,” said Dr. Bradley J. Monk, director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Creighton University School of Medicine in Arizona. He is co-chief investigator of the Phase 2 trial. In a Phase 1
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