Chemo without the side effects

Chemotherapy and cancer drugs

Cancer Research UK is sponsoring the first human trials on a cutting-edge drug, SJG-136, which has had substantial anti-tumour activity in over 35 human tumour models so far examined. It’s very early days but CRUK has high hopes that SJG-136 will be effective against a range of cancers, including breast, ovarian, brain and bowel cancers as well as melanoma, glioma and leukaemia. Between 20 and 30 patients being treated for advanced stage cancer at the Royal Free Hospital in London and the Western Hospital, Edinburgh have just started a course of the drug.

Open quotesCancer Research UK has high hopes that SJG-136 will be effective against a range of cancersClose quotes

This first trial will assess safety and dosage and subsequent trials will evaluate where SJG-136 can be most effective. It’s the active mechanism that makes this particular drug unique - in technical terms it was designed to cross-link the two strands of the DNA double helix at specific sites. The result is that SJG-136 recognises and binds fewer DNA sequences than conventional chemo drugs but ’handcuffs’ certain parts of the DNA in a way that can interfere with abnormal cell reproduction. We’d like to tell you that the Daily Mail was correct to sensationalise SJG-136 as 10,000 times more effective than current treatments, with the potential to wipe out the debilitating side-effects of standard chemotherapy and will be ready for market within five years. These claims, says CRUK are premature, but nevertheless, the drug’s promise is very real.

Chemotherapy and cancer drugs
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