The drug, Ro 26-9114, does not exhibit the serious toxic effects which restrict the use of natural vitamin D for cancer treatment, researchers told the conference in New Orleans, USA.
The drug was tested on Apcmin mice, which have a genetic mutation similar to familial adenomatous polyposis.
|Ro 26-9114 displayed the beneficial antitumor properties of vitamin D.|
|American Association for Cancer Research |
The study showed that total tumor surface-area reduced substantially whether the mice were give Ro 26-9114 or vitamin D. But while the natural vitamin caused toxic side-effects, mice given the synthetic analogue suffered from relatively mild complications towards the end of the eight-week treatment cycle.
Researcher Dr Sergio Huerta, of the University of California, Los Angeles, USA, said: "The activated form of vitamin D has anticancer effects against many common cancers, but it produces abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood, which can lead to toxic effects such as fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
"Our study found that Ro 26-9114 displayed the beneficial antitumor properties of vitamin D but with only modest loss of appetite and weight."
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