According to Newscientist, there has been created a new drug called cabozantinib or cabo. The company that produced it is Exelixis. The medicine can be called a revolutionary one because it not only blocks tumor growth, but prevents the spread of metastases as well.
In order to test how the drug works in practice, Donald McDonald from the University of California at San Francisco and his colleagues conducted an experiment with mice, which were diagnosed malignancies. The rodents had been receiving daily doses of cabozantinib for 14 weeks. On completion of the experiment after 20 weeks, all the mice remained alive. None of the rodents, that received placebo during this period of time, lived so long.
According to Holger Gerhardt, a British expert on the study of cancer, the absence of metastases, the retention of tumor growth and the survival of cells for over 20 weeks has never been observed in similar studies. The innovative nature of the drug is that it not only blocks the receptors of endothelial vascular growth factor, which makes the tumor growth stop, but also inhibits metastases, blocking blood flow to tumors.
McDonald has also conducted a research involving human volunteers. 108 men with prostate cancer and bone metastases had been treated with cabozantinib for three months. As a result, the tumor in the bones of 82 people decreased in size or disappeared completely. The tumor continued to grow in only three of the men during the treatment. In addition, two-thirds of the participants of the study reported the discovery of another positive effect of the drug. It acted as a painkiller, allowing the patients to give up using morphine.
The new testing of the promising drug is currently being carried out. The purpose of one of the experiments, involving 246 patients, is reducing pain. Another one deals with the participation of 960 patients for the purpose of prolongation of life. Scientists around the world have high expectations concerning cabozantinib, because this is the first drug that has an impact on many types of cancer (we already know about its positive effect on 12 types of cancer out of 13). When testing a new cancer drug, nine out of 10 types of tumors usually do not respond to the therapy.