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Times Of India
26 Nov 2012
Med Makes Tumours Dormant, Prevents Cells From Multiplying

Scientists have developed a new drug which they claim can put cancerous cells to sleep to stop them from multiplying.

The drug called Aflibercept tricks tumours into becoming dormant by flipping molecular switches in the structure of the cancer so it cannot spread.

Positive results are being seen already in the UK, where trials have seen patients enjoy a "significant" extension of life, the Daily Mail reported. More than 1,400 patients were involved in trials, with some participants with advanced bowel cancer who had already had chemotherapy prolonged life by two years.

Scientists think the drug could be used across a range of different cancers in future studies.

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A report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology said Aflibercept had a ‘statistically significant survival benefit’ compared to conventional drug regimes treating bowel cancer that had spread after initial treatment.

"The trial results were positive. Around 10,000 patients a year die from bowel cancer and most of them are having some form of chemotherapy so it is theoretically applicable to those," said Dr Rob Glynne Jones, Macmillan Clinical Lead for Gastrointestinal Cancer at Mount Vernon Hospital in Northwood, Middlesex, said.

"I am sure this drug will have a research programme and they will be extending it to all other cancers. Maybe they will find other cancers where it may be more effective," Jones said.

Aflibercept is administered as a 30-minute infusion alongside chemotherapy. It is available in the US, and European approval is expected soon, the paper said.

PTI Protein tied to breast cancer growth found
Scientists have discovered a protein "partner" used by breast cancer cells to unlock genes needed for spreading the disease around the body. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University found that "the protein JMJD2C is the key that opens up a whole suite of genes needed for tumours to grow and metastasize". PTI

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