Three overseas scientists using a technique pioneered at RNSH have received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their work in the field of ‘Click Chemistry’.
The science behind the treatment allows the administration of much higher doses of drugs than usual to destroy cancerous tumours in patients without the usual side effects.
A trial of the treatment, led by biotech company Shasqi, has run at three sites in Australia, including RNSH’s Northern Sydney Cancer Centre (NSCC).
A/Prof Alex Guminski, Medical Oncologist at RNSH and the University of Sydney’s Northern Clinical School, said it was a potentially “exciting” development for cancer treatment.
“The problem with cancer drugs is that the necessary dose that shrinks cancers is often close to the limit of what a patient can accept safely,” Alex said.
“Click chemistry treatment allows the drug to be ‘active’ in the tumour, rather than the whole body, without the usual ‘toxic’ effects of chemotherapy.
“It’s very exciting science.”
Three NSCC patients were among participants in the trial of the treatment, which Alex said is hoped will eventually work alongside other cancer treatments such as immunotherapy.