Solutions in... Drug Development
Douglas J. Swirsky, CEO of Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, explains his company’s approach to developing more effective cancer treatments.
James Strachan |
There are no drugs currently approved to treat metastatic triple negative breast cancer. And for the majority of cancers with treatments available, there remains a significant number of patients for whom the drugs do not work – and we have a limited understanding of why this is the case.
Although many standard chemotherapy drugs have been on the market for a long time, they may only work in around 60 or 70 percent of patients. For certain kinds of cancer, such as bladder cancer or malignant melanoma, the available drugs only work 20 to 30 percent of the time, and in some cancers it’s as low as eight percent of patients. The reasons behind this are unclear, but it highlights why we need more personalized and precise treatments for patients. Immunotherapy drugs are one such approach, but when you take the breaks off the immune system, it can go into hyperdrive and begin killing healthy tissue in addition to cancer cells.
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