AstraZeneca drug to block energy supply to cancer cells being tested

An experimental drug which may treat a range of cancers is being tested in a new clinical trial at Newcastle University.

Approximately 63 cancer patients will take part in the first clinical trial of the compound to see if it is safe and can benefit them. These will be patients refered to the trial by their medical team.

Leading the trial is Professor Ruth Plummer, Cancer Research UK clinician at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research at Newcastle University who is also a consultant within Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. She said: ''I'm excited to open this trial of a completely new type of cancer treatment which continues our drive for the most effective new treatments to give patients the best chance of surviving this dreadful disease.

''It's heartbreaking for cancer patients when the drugs have stopped working and they have run out of options. But we hope new drugs will be able to save their lives in the future.''

Cancer Research UK's Drug Development Office (DDO) has launched the trial of the drug called AZD-3965, developed by AstraZeneca. The trial will be undertaken by Cancer Research UK's and National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre based at The Northern Institute of Cancer Research at Newcastle University as well as at least one other clinical centre.

AZD-3965 targets monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1) which is essential in cell metabolism. Blocking this transporter limits cancer cells' ability to generate energy, and decreases their capacity to survive.