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MED BRIEFS : SNX-111 CLINICAL TRIAL TO TEST NEW THERAPY AGAINST SEVERE CHRONIC CANCER PATIENTS Source: CANCER COMMUNICATION NEWSLETTER, Volume 12, Number 4, September 1996

Do you know someone who suffers from chronic pain relating to cancer? They may be eligible to participate in new study to evaluate a treatment for controlling chronic pain.

The new drug, SNX-111 has shown promise in preliminary studies of controlling severe pain with
few side-effects. The drug has been tested in patients who have stopped responding to opiate-based
painkillers (such as morphine). Pain disappeared totally in five of the seven patients tested and only
one patient did not respond.

Side-effects appear to be mild eye jitters and a slight drop in blood pressure.

The new drug is isolated from the venom of cone snails and is a new type of neuron-specific calcium
channel blocker that is believed to relieve pain by interfering with the transmission of pain impulses
through the nerves.

The study is sponsored by a biopharmaceutical company and has been reviewed by the Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) and local Institutional Review Boards (IRB's).

Severe pain not only has a profound affect on a cancer patient's quality of life, it can also affect
emotional attitude and recovery chances. The impact of pain obviously goes beyond the patient,
greatly affecting loved ones and caregivers as well.

For terminally ill patients, a recent study found that half of these patients spend their final days in
agony. Studies have shown that pain can be managed in up to 90% of Americans suffering from
cancer, yet 40-60% of cancer patients receive inadequate pain therapy.

The problems facing cancer patients today is that doctors have few weapons against severe chronic
pain. Aspirin and other similar painkillers are far too weak. Narcotics, such as morphine, work
temporarily, but many patients become physically dependent on the drugs and require increasingly
stronger doses. Such opiate based pain relief often comes only at the expense of the patient's
physical and mental faculties.

Patients who are at least 18 years of age, have chronic pain related to cancer or HIV and have
shown an unsatisfactory response (intolerable side-effects or inadequate pain relief) to opioid therapy
such as morphine, may be eligible to participate in this study. Qualified patients will receive a
comprehensive pain evaluation and those who enroll will have all study-related cost including a 5 to
10 day hospital stay, covered at no cost to them.

For more information about the study, you may call 1-800-57-STUDY, extension 96.

Editor's Note: Publication of this article does not constitute an endorsement.

At the conclusion of the study and if proof of efficacy is shown, we will certainly advocate its use.


Do you have any positive comments or/and questions ? Please send to Dr. Bruce Livett


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