Leicester Among World First in Novel Cancer Prevention Trial
of Leicester team pioneer tests of new drug with ‘red wine compound’
been selected as one of the first centres in the world to trial a revolutionary
new cancer prevention drug, based on a natural compound found in red wine. This
will form a major part of the cancer prevention research at the University of
researchers from the University’s Department of Oncology, based at the
Leicester Royal Infirmary, have been awarded just over £1 million sterling
($1.7 million) along with the University of Michigan. The award, from the US
National Cancer Institute (NCI), the major US government body which funds and
co-ordinates cancer research, is the first time that a group outside America has
been funded by the NCI for
the early clinical development of a drug that may prevent cancer.
money will be used by the Cancer Biomarker and Prevention Group
of the University of Leicester, in conjunction with the Comprehensive Cancer
Centre at the University of Michigan, to conduct preclinical and clinical
evaluation of resveratrol, a natural compound found in red wine.
Professor Will Steward, of the University of Leicester, said:
“Resveratrol is a natural agent found in grapes, peanuts and several berries.
It is present in fruit juice from these berries and in wine.
Consumption of resveratrol has been proposed as one possible explanation
for the low incidence of cardiovascular disease in Southern European countries
with high red wine consumption, and resveratrol has been shown to possess
anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activity in experimental models.”
resveratrol may be of value in preventing cancer, the NCI are funding early
clinical studies of pure resveratrol capsules in healthy volunteers and patients
with early cancer. These studies
will be conducted in Leicester and at the University of Michigan.”
The principal investigators, in the UK are Professors William Steward, Andreas Gescher and Peter Farmer and Drs David Boocock, David Hemingway and Ricky Sharma.
Steward added: “Over the past four years, the University of Leicester has
built up the largest integrated cancer prevention group in Europe.
Laboratory-based scientists and clinicians work closely together to
develop novel drugs which have promise for reducing the risk of developing
cancer. This award is a major
advance and we hope it will enable us to take resveratrol forward to become a
valuable agent to reduce the number of people who develop cancer in the
research group attracted international publicity a few years ago when they
investigated the cancer-fighting properties of curcumin, an ingredient in
Steward said: “The Leicester team has been involved with the early clinical
development of the potential cancer preventive agent curcumin, derived from the
dietary spice turmeric. Encouraging
results are being obtained from this. The
Cancer Biomarker and Prevention Group are also planning early clinical
development of other dietary constituents that may help in the fight against
principal investigator in the USA, Professor Dean Brenner, said: “The award of
this competitive grant by the US NCI is a major achievement.
In the USA, such awards are given only to teams who are able to
successfully integrate their laboratory research scientists with clinical
investigators, and awards made to teams outside the US are rare.”
awards are given only to groups who are able to provide expertise not available
in the USA. The successful completion of
this contract signifies that the University of Leicester group is considered a
world class translational research group and I am thrilled to be able to work
closely with such an outstanding group.”
patients with cancer take part?
No, the initial trial has to be with healthy volunteers
will the trials begin?
The trials will begin in Spring 2003
will they take place?
University of Leicester and Leicester Royal Infirmary
will people know when the trial is about to start?
Flyers will be distributed in the University of Leicester and Leicester Royal
will people be selected for the trials?
- Selection made from completed information on flyers of healthy, mainly young volunteers, a 50/50 split males and females.
further information please contact:
Arden 0116 223 1854
of Leicester Press Office: 0116 252 2415
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.