According to results presented at the EORTC-NCI-AACR symposium on molecular targets and cancer therapeutics, a new form of paclitaxel called Xyotax™ (CT-2103) appears to be just as effective as paclitaxel while producing fewer side effect.1

Paclitaxel (Taxol®) is the most commonly used chemotherapy agent in the world. However, some side effects caused by paclitaxel may decrease a patient’s quality of life and cause a reduction in the dose of therapy. Researchers recently created a new form of paclitaxel, which involves the active form of the drug bound to molecules called polyglutamate polymers. These molecules tends to allow for the delivery of higher levels of the active drug to cancer cells, while sparing healthy cells from side effects.2

Several clinical trials are evaluating Xyotax™ alone or in combination with other therapies for a variety of cancers. One clinical trial that is still ongoing involves 24 patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who were considered to be at a high-risk for a cancer recurrence. The average age of these patients was 76 years. Following treatment with Xyotax™, 71% of patients achieved an anti-cancer response or disease stabilization. At 6 months, 53% of patients were still alive. Treatment was generally well tolerated. These results have led to the initiation of final phases of clinical trials for NSCLC directly comparing Xyotax™ to commonly used chemotherapy agents.3

A second clinical trial evaluating Xyotax™ involved 42 patients with advanced colorectal cancer who had either disease progression following initial therapy or had cancer recurrence within 6 months of prior therapy. Following treatment with Xyotax™, approximately one-third of patients experienced an anti-cancer response or disease stabilization. At an average of 7 months, 63% of patients remain alive with the average duration of survival not yet reached. Only 3 patients experienced serious side effects.4

A third clinical trial evaluating Xyotax™ involved 88 patients with recurrent ovarian cancer who had received prior therapy with paclitaxel and a platinum (Platinol®, Paraplatin®) chemotherapy agent. At the time of the presentation of these results, nearly 60% of patients who were still responsive to platinum agents (platinum-sensitive) achieved anti-cancer responses or disease stabilization following treatment with Xyotax™. Of the patients who did not respond to platinum agents (platinum-resistant/refractory), anti-cancer responses or disease stabilization occurred in 43% of patients following treatment with Xyotax™. Treatment was reported to be well tolerated.5

The researchers concluded that Xyotax™ appears to be an effective treatment alternative to paclitaxel; however, further clinical trials directly comparing paclitaxel to Xyotax™ are necessary in order to confirm these findings. Patients who are to receive treatment with paclitaxel may wish to speak with their physician about the risks and benefits of participating in a clinical trial further evaluating Xyotax™ or other promising therapeutic approaches. Two sources of information regarding ongoing clinical trials include the National Cancer Institute (cancer.gov) and www.eCancerTrials.com. www.eCancerTrials.com also provides personalized clinical trial searches on behalf of patients.

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1.Tammy Dotts. Polymer-bound paclitaxel is promising in solid tumors.

Hem/Onc Today. 2003;4:12-13.

2.CTI®. XYOTAX™ (PG-TXL, CT-2103). Available at: http://www.cticseattle.com/products_investigational.htm. Accessed March 4, 2003.

3.Neubauer M, et al. Phase II study of first-line chemotherapy using CT-2103 in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer who are > or = 70 years of age or who have PS =2. Proceedings from the 14th EORTC-NCI-AACR symposium on molecular targets and cancer therapeutics. 2002. Abstract #432.

4.Schulz J, et al. Phase II study of Xyotax (CT-2103) in patients with colorectal cancer having recurrent disease after treatment with a 5-fluorouracil-containing regimen. Proceedings from the 14th EORTC-NCI-AACR symposium on molecular targets and cancer therapeutics. 2002. Abstract #437.

5.Sabbatini P, et al. Phase I/II study of CT-2103 (Xyotax) in patients with recurrent ovarian cancer. Proceedings from the 14th EORTC-NCI-AACR symposium on molecular targets and cancer therapeutics. 2002. Abstract #430.

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