Drug may keep patients strong
A new drug trial in Scottsdale Aims to help cancer survivors feel stronger, no matter the type of cancer.
More than 65 percent of cancer patients survive at least five years after diagnosis. That success has generated a new focus of treatment: raising the quality of life for cancer survivors. Tour De France champion and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong has popularized the notion with his Livestrong program.
The drug study by TGen Clinical Research Services at Scottsdale Healthcare takes the issue to the bedside.
Scientists led by Dr. Daniel Von Hoff are testing a drug developed by Eli Lily and Co. that may help cancer patients get their muscle strength back. Eighty percent of cancer patients experience muscle weakness after treatments with cancer-fighting drugs, according to the researchers.
The new drug is believed to stop muscle deterioration by blocking a body protein called myostatin that naturally diminishes muscle growth.
The treatment grew from the observation that rare people and animals whose bodies don’t produce myostatin have exceptionally well-developed muscles. This is a treatment for people who have already been treated for advanced cancer. Either they have completed their chemotherapy or they’re on a chemo-holiday because the treatment has caused so much disability and fatigue,” said study coordinator Joyce Ingold, who is enrolling study participants.
Participants will be asked to commit to an eight-week series of intravenous infusions with a 12-hour appointment on the first day, followed by briefer visits.
Patients who experience improvement may be asked to continue beyond eight weeks.
Virginia G Piper Cancer Center
10460 N. 92nd Street Suite 206
Scottsdale, AZ 85258