A new clinical trial tests a radiotherapy-boosting drug in the fight against various forms of cancer.
Cancer continues to be one of the top causes of death in the United States. According to the National Cancer Institute, there will be 1,735,350new cancer cases by the end of 2018, of which 609,640 people will die as a result.
Radiation therapy is one of the most common treatments used in the fight against cancer. About 60 percent of cancer patients benefit from radiation, which is used either on its own or together with chemotherapy.
Radiation therapy works by puncturing the DNA inside cancer cells. This stops the cancer cells from growing and multiplying, eventually causing them to die.
Doctors can use radiation to destroy cancer tumors completely or to shrink them in preparation for surgery. This depends on the type of tumor, as some cancers are more sensitive to radiation therapy than others.
New research may have found a way to boost the strength of radiation therapy against cancer cells. Doctors administered a new drug called 5-iodo-2-pyrimidinone-2′-deoxribose (IPdR) — also referred to as ropidoxuridine — to people with cancer in combination with radiation therapy.
Dr. Timothy Kinsella, from the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital — both in Providence, RI — presented the results of the clinical trial at the 30th EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in Dublin, Ireland.
The symposium is a collaboration between the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).