Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Gene therapy for cancer : China leading the way

Move over cold FX, the new hotness in questionable approved drugs comes from China. Sibiono Genetech 's drug, Gendicine is based on a replication-deficient adenovirus delivering wt P53. So far it has proven to be quite safe in over 3500 patients, with symptoms resembling the common cold. However we all remember what happened to Jesse Gelsinger. The company claims most patients who have a not too bad prognosis to start with, will show some kind of partial or complete response. Not surprisingly, a lot of foreigners are going to china to get the virus. Are we being unfair to the company only because it originates from China, or is this one of those "stem cell therapy" type shenanigans. This nature news piece weighs in on the issue. In any case China is becoming a major player in the area, and we'll have to get used to the idea of seeing drugs originating there.


2 comments:

Dominic B. said...

Interestingly, my last posting is about rhinovirus....hummm...it seems like we think alike....well, as I said before, great minds think alike!
Good job on your blog...I look at it everyday!

elizabeth said...

Gendicine might seem like quackery and the fact that the head of the Chinese FDA was executed for fraud and accepting bribes does little to validate the efficacy of the drug.

But I tried it (vicariously thru my Mum) for an aggressive tongue SCC. At a check up in May 13 06 there were no visible nor palpable signs of a tumour. By June 13 06 there was a tumour measuring 4.4cm / 2.6cm on an MRI. We poked her various times with Gendicine .. then obvious signs of nodal metastasis appeared so we poked them too. She had conventional surgery 28/08/06 the MRI on 27/08/06 showed tumour size 4.5cm and 2.8cm. there were 2 masses in the lymph nodes both benign. (patholgist shaking his head and re tested with same result ) Was this a sign of cell apoptosis ? or normal pattern of events ?