Health

‘Trojan horse’ drug that attacks tumours from the inside stopped or slowed the growth of cancers in patients with few options left

A ‘Trojan horse’ drug that attacks tumour cells from within may offer hope to cancer patients with few options left.

A study found the treatment – tisotumab vedotin (TV) – produced promising results in people with six advanced forms of the disease, including tumours of the cervix, bladder, ovaries and lungs.

When TV was given to these patients – who were no longer responding to standard therapies – their tumours shrunk or stopped growing.

‘What is so exciting about this treatment is that its mechanism of action is completely novel,’ lead author Professor Johann de Bono – head of the division of clinical studies at the Institute of Cancer Research – said.

‘It acts like a Trojan horse to sneak into cancer cells and kill them from the inside.’

The research was a joint collaboration between the ICR and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.

One in two people living in the UK born after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime, Cancer Research UK statistics reveal.

To test the effectiveness of TV, the drug was given intravenously every three weeks to 147 patients with cancer that had either relapsed, advanced or spread.

The participants were either suffering from cancer of the bladder, cervix, uterus lining (endometrial), oesophagus, lungs, ovaries or prostate.

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