SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- July 20, 2011 -- A new drug targeting the PI3K gene in patients with advanced breast cancer shows promising results in an early phase I investigational study conducted at Virginia G. Piper Cancer at Scottsdale Healthcare, according to a presentation by oncologist Dr. Daniel D. Von Hoff at the 47th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).
The drug under investigation, GDC-0941, manufactured by Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, Calif., targets the PI3K gene, which is abnormal in about 20-30 percent of patients with advanced breast cancer.
In collaboration with the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, Mich. and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Mass., Dr. Von Hoff and his team at Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials initially tested the drug in 97 patients with various advanced cancers. Patients experienced manageable side effects including diarrhea, nausea, taste alteration, rash, fatigue, itchiness, vomiting and decreased appetite.
The study resulted in significant shrinkage of tumors in two patients - one with advanced cervical cancer and one with advanced breast cancer. Another patient with ampullary cancer of the pancreas is currently on the study with stable disease for more than a year.
Dr. Von Hoff is Physician-In-Chief and Distinguished Professor at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), Chief Scientific Officer at Scottsdale Healthcare and US Oncology. Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials is a partnership between TGen and Scottsdale Healthcare that treats cancer patients with promising new drugs through clinical trials at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center in Scottsdale, Ariz.
"We are very excited about personalizing therapy for breast cancer and gynecologic cancer patients with PI3K inhibitors," said Dr. Von Hoff, who made his presentation in June during ASCO's annual meeting in Chicago. "The next step will be to test samples from breast cancer patients for PI3K mutations and treat those patients accordingly."
Breast cancer remains one of the deadliest cancers among women, with approximately 180,000 new cases each year.
ASCO is the country's largest cancer research conference, with attendance exceeding 35,000 oncology professionals from around the world.
The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare opened in 2001 as the first comprehensive cancer center in greater Phoenix, offering comprehensive cancer care and research through Phase I clinical trials, diagnosis, treatment, prevention and support services in collaboration with leading researchers and community oncologists. The Scottsdale Healthcare cancer program holds Accreditation with Commendation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.
Research at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare is conducted in collaboration with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and the Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute.
Individuals seeking information about eligibility to participate in clinical trials at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare may contact the cancer care coordinator at 480-323-1339; toll free at 1-877-273-3713 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scottsdale Healthcare is the community-based, nonprofit parent organization of the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute, Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital and Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation. For more information, visit www.shc.org.
About the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare
The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare in Scottsdale, Ariz. offers comprehensive cancer care and research through Phase I clinical trials, diagnosis, treatment, prevention and support services in collaboration with leading scientific researchers and community oncologists. Scottsdale Healthcare is the nonprofit parent organization of the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute, Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital. For more information, visit www.shc.org.
Public Relations Coordinator
Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. Research at TGen is focused on helping patients with diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes. TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research where investigators are able to unravel the genetic components of common and complex diseases. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities, TGen believes it can make a substantial contribution to the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. TGen is affiliated with the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For more information, visit: www.tgen.org.
TGen Senior Science Writer