Investigational cancer drug targets oxygen supply in tumors, advances for additional testing

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - May 11, 2011 - An investigational drug shows promise targeting oxygen supply in tumors, according to results of a study completed at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare and published in the current issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

Significant responses were observed in patients with advanced solid tumor cancers after receiving TH-302, an intravenous compound targeting specific areas of the tumor that are low in oxygen. Tumors with low oxygen content are typically resistant to traditional chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

The Phase I clinical trial was designed to establish the safety, tolerability, dose limiting toxicities and preliminary activity of TH-302 in patients with solid tumors. The study demonstrated effectiveness in a wide range of cancer types, providing the basis for future studies, said Glen Weiss, M.D., Assistant Professor at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and principal investigator and director of thoracic oncology at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials Program.

Clinical trials at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare are conducted in collaboration with TGen and the Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute, allowing molecular and genomic discoveries to reach the patient bedside as quickly as possible through clinical trials of therapies directed at specific targets in a patient's tumor.

Clinical trials test the safety and effectiveness of new drugs prior to approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Fifty-seven patients were enrolled in the study at six clinical sites including the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare. TH-302 was developed by Threshold Pharmaceuticals of Redwood City, Calif.

"Cancer researchers have high hopes for this new therapy for cancer patients. We are very pleased to have been able to offer this innovative experimental drug for our patients in the greater Phoenix area," said Dr. Weiss.

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.

Individuals seeking information about eligibility to participate in clinical trials at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare may contact the cancer care coordinator at 480-323-1339, toll free at 1-877-273-3713 or via email at [email protected].

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About Scottsdale Healthcare
Scottsdale Healthcare is the community-based, 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, Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital and Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation. For more information, visit

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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. TGen is affiliated with the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For more information, visit:

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TGen Senior Science Writer
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