Quest doses first prostate cancer patient with photodynamic therapy

Quest PharmaTech has treated the first patient in the company's Phase I clinical trial of its SL052 photodynamic therapy for prostate cancer. The study will evaluate the localization, safety, tolerability and preliminary treatment response of the therapy in 18 patients with localized prostate cancer.

SL052 is an injectible, synthetic derivative of a small molecular weight compound called Hypocrellin, which is isolated from a parasitic fungus that grows on bamboo trees in China. In Quest's Phase I trial, SL052 is inactive in a patient's body until activated by laser light of specific wavelength. Upon light activation, oxygen radicals are formed which are known to be toxic to tumor cells. This method of treatment is known as photodynamic therapy or PDT.

Says Dr. Madi R. Madiyalakan, Quest CEO, "SL052 photodynamic therapy is a promising treatment modality for prostate cancer because of its potential to minimize collateral damage compared to conventional treatment approaches. In preclinical trials, the therapy demonstrated an impressive safety and efficacy profile. In this Phase I trial, our goal is to establish a safe and tolerable dosing regime and to monitor the patients for signals of efficacy."

SL052 is a member of Quest PharmaTech's SonoLight portfolio with the potential to reduce or eliminate the side effects associated with currently available cancer treatment modalities: surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. While Quest's first clinical trial of the injectable form of SL052 will demonstrate its utility in photodynamic therapy, SL052 can also be adapted for use in sonodynamic as well as immunophotodynamic therapy for the treatment of prostate cancer.

- see this release form Quest PharmaTech