AACR: Conference Offers Look at Cancer Drugs in Pipeline

International conference presentations include leukemia drug screening, olaparib, cediranib

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer drugs currently under development were the focus of a press briefing held on Nov. 16 at the American Association for Cancer Research -- National Cancer Institute -- European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer International Conference, "Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics," held from Nov. 15 to 19 in Boston.

One presentation focused on a screening method of small molecules to identify those that target leukemia stem cells but not healthy hematopoietic stem cells. Of 4,000 small molecules screened, etoposide showed promise in acute myeloid leukemia and chronic myelogenous leukemia, and ciclopirox olamine and kinetin riboside may be tested in future research.

Another presentation offered a look at olaparib, an oral PARP inhibitor being developed for breast and ovarian cancer. In vitro research suggests that it may be useful in cases of microsatellite instable colorectal cancer. Other research included in the discussion was a phase I study that found cediranib tolerable in children and teenagers with malignant solid tumors.

"This outcome is encouraging and provides evidence that cediranib should be further studied in future clinical trials in young patients with these and other sarcomas to determine the activity of this new agent. Hopefully, newer classes of anti-cancer drugs currently being developed will have fewer acute and long-term side effects than the chemotherapy that we currently use to treat childhood cancers," a researcher involved in the cediranib study said in a prepared statement.

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