“One drug to shrink all tumors”


An article with the above headline appears on the Science web site this week. It refers to the apparent biological effects of an antibody known as anti-CD47 and work on the development of this agent by Irving Weissman and colleagues at Stanford University School of Medicine.

For those interested in drug development and the treatment of cancer, this article it is well worth a quick read. However, research to date is limited to the effects of anti-CD47 on human tumors transplanted into highly genetically defined mice in the research laboratory. As a commentator is quoted as stating in the article,

The microenvironment of a real tumor is quite a bit more complicated than the microenvironment of a transplanted tumor.

This is far from being the first time that we have observed extremely promising effects of potential new drugs in laboratory mice. Unfortunately, all too often, such effects are not apparent when these drugs are tested in men (and women).

Hope is good; wisdom requires a balance of hope and reality. Dr. Weissman believes it should be possible to start Phase I clinical trials with anti-CD47 in the near future. Then we may start to learn more.

One Response

  1. Thank you for this article. I know so many people who are affected by prostate cancer. My husband has a family history of prostate cancer and he also suffers from some of the effects of an enlarged prostate.

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