More than 5000 people die as a result of bladder cancer in Britain each year. New treatments for patients are urgently needed. Cancer Research UK, Cancer Research Technology and Sitka Biopharma Inc., a Canadian biotechnology company, have signed an agreement to move into early-phase clinical trials for an experimental new treatment for bladder cancer.
Using nanoparticle polymer technology, the aim of Sitka’s STK-01 is to improve chemotherapy delivery to bladder cancer patients whose tumour hasn’t gone through the layer of muscle in the wall of the bladder. Docetaxel is a chemotherapy medication used to treat a number of types of cancer; although it is effective, it has been shown to be tricky to deliver the right quantities of the drug to the target organ to treat the tumour. STK-01 has been designed to improve the way the drug penetrates the bladder wall.
Cancer Research UK and Sitka have agreed to share the development and production costs, and Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development will pay for and arrange the Phase 1 clinical trials, evaluate toxicity and the delivery of the drug and make comparisons with dosing with Docetaxel alone. The trial is due to be a part of the ECMC (Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre) network, a collaboration funded by the UK health departments and Cancer Research UK.
Clinical trials are carried out to gather data about the safety and usefulness of new drugs, and patient recruitment services, such as those from http://www.richmondpharmacology.com/patient-recruitment.php, are able to provide suitable patients for each individual trial. Patient recruitment is one of the most time-consuming aspects of the clinical-trial process and is one of the causes of missed clinical trial deadlines. The trials are conducted in a series of phases, with each designed to address a different purpose and patient numbers increasing from as few as 20 in Phase 1 trials to as many as 3000 in Stage IV.
With help from Cancer Research UK, the Sitka Organisation has reached a significant point, moving the company on from pre-clinical to a clinical stage. Lessons learned from this work can be applied to new therapeutic technologies for other forms of cancer, thus providing effective treatment for more patients.
These trials aim to improve the survival of patients with invasive diseases. Hopefully, this new treatment will be successful.