Bench to bedside and back: basic and clinical scientists team up on potential cancer treatment

April 26, 2016

When Dr. Jim Dimitroulakos’ team discovered that pairing high doses of cholesterol-lowering statins with cancer drug erlotinib enhanced its anti-cancer activity, they partnered with Dr. Glen Goss on a clinical trial to test the combination’s safety and efficacy. Their Phase I trial, published in the Journal of Translational Medicine, involved 24 cancer patients at The Ottawa Hospital who had exhausted all other treatment options. For a subset, their cancer did not progress for more than six months, a significant result for these end-stage patients. However, many of the participants suffered statin-induced muscle pains and weakness. These insights spurred further laboratory studies to identify ways to improve the therapy and reduce toxicity. This team is currently performing pre-clinical evaluations that may lead to a future clinical trial.

Authors: Goss GD, Jonker DJ, Laurie SA, Weberpals JI, Oza AM, Spaans JN, la Porte C, Dimitroulakos J.

Funders: Roche Canada, Canadian Institute of Health Research, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research- High Impact Clinical Trials, Prostate Cancer Fight Foundation

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