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expert reaction to an abstract on a Phase 1 clinical trial of a drug to inhibit the MYC gene (which drives many common cancers)

An abstract (not a published paper) presented at the 34th EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in Barcelona, looks at results of phase 1 clinical trial on dose escalation of OMO-103, a first in class Pan-MYC-Inhibitor, in patients with advanced solid tumours.


Prof Lawrence Young FMedSci, Virologist and Professor of Molecular Oncology, said:

“A major goal of modern cancer research is to identify and specifically target the processes and pathways that go wrong in cancer cells. This precision medicine approach prevents the side effects associated with conventional chemotherapy which can also affect normal cells in our bodies.

“This new research describes the development and early testing of a new drug that targets a key protein (the MYC oncogene) that is abnormally abundant in cancer cells and contributes to the continued growth and survival of many different cancers. After testing the new drug in various experimental systems, the researchers initiated an initial clinical trial in patients who had various cancers and had already undergone treatment with other drugs. The phase I clinical trial showed that the drug could be safely used without any significant toxic effects. Early data indicated that drug treatment in some patients was associated with stabilised disease whereas you would expect the cancer to have continued to grow and spread in these patients.

“These are very exciting results but it is still early days. More extensive clinical trials are now required to fully determine whether the observed effects can be replicated in a larger cohort of cancer patients. Cancer is a complex disease and the best way of attacking tumour cells is to use a multi-pronged approach – that’s why combination therapies are the most effective. If subsequent trials of this new MYC-targeted drug hold up, then exploring combinations with other chemotherapy drugs or some of the new agents that stimulate the body’s immune response to cancer hold out the prospect of new, more effective treatments.”



“Dose escalation study of OMO-103, a first in class Pan-MYC-Inhibitor in patients (pts) with advanced solid tumors”, Elena Garralda, presented in the ‘New drugs on the horizon’ session..



Declared interests

Prof Lawrence Young: “No declarations of interest.”


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