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BaltSun: Prostate Cancer Drug Shows Great Promise

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Compound created at University of Maryland now in clinical trials

A white powdered chemical compound emerged from two University of Maryland School of Medicine laboratories more than 10 years ago with a name destined for oblivion, but a future that now looks promising as a treatment for the most challenging cases of prostate cancer.

Today, VN/124-1 is a drug candidate with a name — galeterone — a pharmaceutical company founded on its potential and a record of strong preliminary results in clinical trials with human patients.

The Food and Drug Administration has put galeterone on a fast track for approval to treat prostate cancer, which kills about 30,000 men a year in the United States. Researchers in hospitals and clinics across the country and in Canada are finishing the trial's second round and preparing for the third, expected to begin early next year.

Dr. Kevin J. Cullen, director of the University of Maryland's Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, acknowledged that results are preliminary, but he said it's an auspicious beginning.

"I can think of maybe one other drug in the 30 years I've been doing oncology that showed these kind of results," Cullen said. He called it an "incredibly promising start for this medicine."

Read more on the Baltimore Sun