Dr. Charles Sawyers Discusses the Coming of Age in Pathway-Targeted Therapeutics, MDV3100
April 4, 2012 -- During a plenary session at the AACR conference, panel speakers discussed therapies targeting oncogenic signaling pathways and their continued maturity within the field of cancer research. Included in the session was Dr. Charles Sawyers, chair of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, winner of the 2009 Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award and president-elect of the AACR. Dr. Sawyers efforts led a MDV3100 (Enzalutamide) Phase III clinical trial, which showed positive survival rates in men with advanced prostate cancer—increasing survival by 4.8 months.
Since the trial, the Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC) recommended stopping MDV3100 clinical trials and provides patients with MDV3100 who previously received the placebo. MDV3100 is the first androgen receptor signaling inhibitor to successfully meet clinical criteria and improve overall survival compared to placebo.
The Prostate Cancer Foundation provided a $500,000 research award to Owen Witte, MD, Charles Sawyers, MD, Michael Jung, PhD, with the University of California Los Angeles in 2002. Dr. Sawyers is currently at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
The work that was performed with PCF funding resulted in not only establishing the androgen receptor as a drug target in castration-resistant prostate cancer but also led to the synthesis of what is now known as MDV3100. Furthermore, PCF support of the Prostate Cancer Clinical Trial Consortium, under the leadership of Howard Scher, MD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, propelled the successful development of this novel therapy.
“The clinical advancement of MDV3100 is one of the most important events in the history of prostate cancer research and the Prostate Cancer Foundation,” said Howard Soule, PhD, chief science officer and executive vice president of PCF. “For men whose disease has progressed since receiving hormone therapy and docetaxel chemotherapy, MDV3100 should provide a new therapy to extend survival.”
Medivation Inc. (a company that acquires early-development drugs, including MDV3100) plans to meet with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration early 2012 to discuss when they might seek approval for the drug.
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