First Test of P53 Gene Therapy in Breast Cancer Opens
For the first time, the power of a novel gene therapy drug to treat locally advanced breast cancer is being tested in a clinical trial at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.
The trial combines the drug, Advexin, with standard chemotherapy treatment "neoadjuvantly"-that is, before either surgery or radiotherapy treatment. Researchers hope such an initial use of the gene therapy/chemotherapy combination will boost cure rates and overall patient survival.
Advexin is a drug that researchers believe may be able to both kill cancer cells directly as well as stimulate the immune system to attack additional tumor cells. It is designed to use the p53 gene-a potent natural anti-tumor gene-to kill cancer cells and to stop tumor growth without harming normal cells.