The Cancer Research Centre in the UK has been funding researchers who have pioneered a new drug, known as DMXAA. A drug that attacks a tumour's blood supply directly.
It represents a new approach to cancer, for it constricts the tiny blood vessels that feed a tumour, as well as activating the immune system to release chemicals such as interferon and tumor necrosis factor. This will open up a second line of attack, causing the blood vessels to leak and break down. Due to restriction of its blood supply, the tumour will start to wither and die.
AdvertisementMagnetic resonance imaging studies reveal that DMXAA reduces the blood flow to a tumour. The new drug will probably be used in combination with other anti-cancer drugs. DMXAA will strike the first blow, weakening the cancer by starving it of blood. Then, hopefully, other drugs will finish it off. DMXAA should enter full clinical trials towards the end of next year.