A clinical trial has started to test the safety and preliminary efficacy (effectiveness) of a drug called DCC-2036 that blocks the BCR-ABL enzyme that's known to cause cancer.
The trial involves chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients who no longer respond to other drug therapies.
"Ask your oncologist about new leukemia drugs."
The University of Kansas is the fourth site for this Phase I trial. Other sites include MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Tufts Medical Center in Boston, and The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor.
While therapies exist for both CML, mainly seen in adults, and ALL, the most common form of childhood leukemia, some patients can't take the medications. Others become resistant to the drugs after taking them over a period of time.
This research focuses on developing agents that block or inhibit various types of enzymes known as kinases which cause more than 50 different types of cancer, according to Daniel Flynn, CEO of Deciphera Pharmaceuticals.
He says this research aims to discover so-called kinase inhibitors which may be useful in treating a number of cancers.
DCC-2036 is an oral medication that's being developed by Deciphera Pharmaceuticals.