I saw the TV news about Combretastatin. Can you tell me how this drug works?
Bradley Somer, MD, OncoLink Editorial Assistant, responds:
Combretastatin (A4 Prodrug) is a newly developed anti-angiogenesis drug. In the test tube and in mice it has been shown to limit the blood supply to the tumor. This eliminates the vital nutrients needed for the tumor to grow. There is growing evidence from phase I studies in humans with a variety of cancers that Combretastatin has allowed for the cancer to be stabilized in a sizable proportion of patients, and a few patients have had their cancers truly respond to the drug. It will be finishing its phase I study shortly and then enter the phase II studies. It is hoped that this drug will be a novel weapon in the fight against cancer either alone or with other conventional therapies.
Phase I studies evaluate the maximum tolerated safe dose and are offered to patients with cancer that has not responded to conventional treatment. The Combretastatin trials, as with other phase I studies, are available for virtually all cancer types. These studies allow patients access to novel treatments which would otherwise not be available. Patients should discuss with their oncologist in detail whether or not there are other conventional treatments available and whether the patient would be eligible for the study.
To find out more information about Combretastatin, and the locations and qualifications for the study, please visit: