Jul 01, 2011 - 3:13 am
[New oral chemo, tesetaxel, has been fast-track approved by the FDA for gastric cancer.]
Tesetaxel is a novel oral semi-synthetic taxane. The drug stabilises microtubules, inducing potent cytotoxicity in a wide range of tumour cell types.
Certain taxanes have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of breast (BC), lung, gastric (GC), prostate (PC) and ovarian cancers. However, currently-approved taxanes require intravenous infusion under close medical supervision due to a high level of toxicity. Both Bristol-Myers Squibb's Taxol (paclitaxel) and sanofi-aventis' Taxotere (docetaxel) can cause severe, occasionally fatal, infusion reactions that require premedication with steroids and antihistamines. Tesetaxel is administered orally, which obviates the risk of taxane-related infusion reactions and the need for associated premedications, thus potentially improving safety.
Another serious side effect associated with taxanes includes neuropathy, which limits the maximum amount of these drugs that can be given to patients. Tesetaxel appears to be associated with a lower incidence of peripheral nerve damage.
Interestingly, preclinical studies have shown the cytotoxic activity of tesetaxel to be ten- and three-times greater than paclitaxel and docetaxel, respectively. In addition, there is some evidence to suggest that tesetaxel may have utility in cancers that have developed resistance to the conventional taxanes.
Carolen [from the ovarian cancer board]