New Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center-TGen study targets non-small cell lung cancer

PR610 designed to activate in cancer tissue with low levels of oxygen

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Aug. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Phase I/II, multi-center trial designed to test the safety and preliminary efficacy of a first-in-class cancer treatment opened worldwide today at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare, a partnership between Scottsdale Healthcare and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

PR610 is designed to become activated in tissues with low levels of oxygen, which is characteristic of many cancers. This "targeted" approach should deliver more active drug to cancer tissue and less active drug to normal tissue.

The two-part trial, sponsored by the drug's manufacturer, Proacta, Inc., will first determine acceptable dose levels of PR610 in patients with various types of advanced cancer. After determining acceptable dose levels, the study will evaluate the safety and efficacy of PR610 when given to patients with non-small cell lung cancer whose tumors contain a certain genetic mutation. Other goals of the study are to measure levels of PR610 in the blood.

"PR610 is a promising and innovative compound that merges delivery of a drug to the cancerous, oxygen depleted tissue and it also targets the communication functions that govern the growth and behavior that drive certain cancers," said Dr. Glen Weiss, director of Thoracic Oncology at Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare and clinical associate professor at TGen.

Research has shown that some cancer tissue has lower levels of oxygen than normal tissue. This lower level of oxygen appears to make the cancer tissue more resistant to radiation and chemotherapy, which allows the cancer to become more aggressive and spread. PR610 is designed to become active in cancer tissue with low levels of oxygen.

"Proacta is very excited to be working with Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials and TGen on this important study. We purposely limited participation in this study to those cancer centers with extensive experience and expertise in conducting clinical oncology trials," said Dr. John Gutheil, CEO of Proacta.

Non-small cell lung cancer is a disease in which cancerous cells form in the tissues of the lung. There are several types, and chances of recovery are determined by many factors, such as smoking and lifestyle. Unfortunately, current treatments options do not cure the majority of patients with non-small cell lung cancer.

About 44 people will participate in this study at research sites in the U.S. and New Zealand, with the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare being the first to enroll a patient.

Individuals seeking information about eligibility to participate in clinical trials at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare can talk to their oncologist or contact the cancer care coordinator at 480-323-1339; toll free at 1-877-273-3713 or via email at clinicaltrials@shc.org.

About the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare
The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare opened in 2001 as the first major cancer center in greater Phoenix, offering comprehensive cancer care and research through Phase I clinical trials, diagnosis, treatment, prevention and support services in collaboration with leading researchers and community oncologists.  The Scottsdale Healthcare cancer program holds Accreditation with Commendation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. Scottsdale Healthcare is the nonprofit parent organization of the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute, Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital. For more information, visit www.shc.org.

About TGen
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. Research at TGen is focused on helping patients with diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes. TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research where investigators are able to unravel the genetic components of common and complex diseases. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities, TGen believes it can make a substantial contribution to the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. For more information, visit: www.tgen.org.

About Proacta Incorporated
Proacta is a San Diego based biotechnology company dedicated to the development and commercialization of hypoxia-activated oncology drugs. Proacta has a pipeline of hypoxia-activated prodrugs for the treatment of cancer that are licensed from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. For more information on Proacta, visit the Proacta web site at www.proacta.com

SOURCE Scottsdale Healthcare



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