OXTOX fighting side effects of chemotherapy

Congratulations to Professor Janette Vardy who has has received the 2018 AGITG Innovation Fund grant for  $200,000 to conduct research that could reduce the side effects of chemotherapy – which could help advanced colorectal cancer patients to live longer.

The Innovation Fund is a grant of up to $200,000 to support a new pilot study in gastro-intestinal cancer research that is sponsored by the AGITG.

Patients with advanced colorectal cancer often receive a kind of chemotherapy called Oxaliplatin. This is an effective therapy which improves survival, but it causes acute neuropathy. Neuropathy is nerve damage that causes pins and needles and pain on touching or swallowing cold objects or fluids, and numbness, discomfort and pain in patients’ hands and feet.

Researchers believe that the tablet ibudilast could prevent and treat neurotoxicity, meaning that patients will not suffer from as much neuropathy. As well as improving their quality of life, it could enable them to have more chemotherapy and improve their survival.

The OXTOX trial will recruit 90 patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. Professor Vardy, who will be the Principal Investigator of the trial, says, “We are very grateful to AGITG and the donors who have supported our study investigating an intervention for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. The pharmacological agent has been successful in preventing and treating this problem in our rat model.

“Preliminary data in our small phase one study look promising. We hope to be able to reduce the incidence and severity of peripheral neuropathy associated with oxaliplatin.”

Dr Christina Teng accepted the grant in place of Profesor Vardy at the AGITG Annual Scientific Meeting.

The Innovation Fund grant is supported by donations from the Gutsy Challenge and the Spencer Gibson Foundation.

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