Israeli drug treating prostrate cancer approved in Mexico

A prostate cancer micrograph. Credit: Nephron via Wikimedia Commons. 

( Cofepris—Mexico’s national health authority—has approved a drug invented by Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science that treats early-stage prostate cancer, a Weizmann Institute spokesperson said Monday.

A successful Phase III clinical trial of 80 patients in Latin America confirmed the high rates of cures and minimal side effects revealed in Phase II clinical trials of the drug, which is called TOOKAD® Soluble. Various results using the combined therapy of a laser light and TOOKAD Soluble included negative biopsies as well as maintenance of potency and continence.

The outpatient receives an intravenous infusion of TOOKAD, followed by a laser light shining on the cancer tissue by using inserted tiny optic fibers. When the drug is exposed to light, it kills the illuminated tissue by clogging tiny blood vessels, depriving the tumor of oxygen and nutrients. The therapy is particularly useful for treating large, deeply embedded cancer tissue.

The innovative therapy was developed by Prof. Yoram Salomon of the Biological Regulation Department and Prof. Avigdor Scherz of the Plant and Environmental Sciences Department at the Weizmann Institute, in collaboration with Steba Biotech from Luxembourg.

Posted on January 4, 2016 .