Dr. Maurer, together with Dr. Kang, Dr. Reynolds, other investigators and the New Approaches to Neuroblastoma Therapy (NANT) consortium has published in Pediatric Blood & Cancer the results of the NANT phase I trial of oral powder LXS fenretinide. This version of fenretinide was developed by Dr. Maurer, Dr. Reynolds of TTUHSC and Dr. Walt Shaw and Stephen Burgess at Avanti Polar Lipids based on drug delivery technology invented by the late Dr. David Yesair of Biomolecular Products. This form of fenretinide is designed specifically for children and obtains much higher blood levels than previous oral forms of the drug. The trial, led by Dr. Maurer, documented higher blood levels of fenretinide in children and 4 complete responses in patients with high-risk neuroblastoma. The trial is continuing, seeking to further improve the blood levels of fenretinide by inhibiting drug metabolism using the drug ketoconazole.
Dr. Min Kang, head of the Cancer Center Pharmacology Program, received an RO1 grant from the National Cancer Institute to support pharmacokinetic and pharmacogenomics studies of the drug 13-cis-retinoic acid in children with neuroblastoma. This study is a collaboration between Dr. Kang and the Children's Oncology Group, and is one of the largest, if not the largest pharmacokinetic clinical study in children with cancer ever undertaken.
The Evan Foundation has awarded a generous grant to Dr. Barry Maurer, Head of the Developmental Therapeutics Program at the TTUHSC SOM Cancer Center. The grant to Dr. Maurer will support manufacturing of the LXS oral powder fenretinide that Dr. Maurer developed , thus providing much needed drug supplies to a pediatric clinical trial testing LXS fenretinide together with another drug for high-risk neuroblastoma. Dr. Maurer is developing that trial, which will be conducted in the South Plains Oncology Consortium (SPOC). The Evan foundation was developed in memory of Evan Lindberg who died of high-risk neuroblastoma.
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