NEW TREATMENT FOR CANCER FOUND TO WORK IN ANIMALS.

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1NEW TREATMENT FOR CANCER FOUND TO WORK IN ANIMALS .
2A new method of attacking cancer cells , developed by researchers in Australia , has proved surprisingly effective in animal tests .
3The method is intended to sidestep two major drawbacks of standard chemotherapy : the treatment 's lack of specificity and the fact that cancer cells often develop resistance .
4In one striking use of the method , reported online Sunday in Nature Biotechnology , mice were implanted with a human uterine tumor that was highly aggressive and resistant to many drugs .
5All of the treated animals were free of tumor cells after 70 days of treatment ; the untreated mice were dead after a month .
6The lead researchers , Dr. Jennifer A. MacDiarmid and Dr. Himanshu Brahmbhatt , say their company , EnGeneIC of suburban Sydney , has achieved a similar outcome in dogs with advanced brain cancer .
7`` We have been treating more than 20 dogs and have spectacular results , '' Brahmbhatt said .
8`` Pretty much every dog has responded , and some are in remission . ''
9These experiments have not yet been published .
10Cancer experts who were not involved with the research say that the new method is of great interest , but that many treatments that work well in laboratory mice turn out to be ineffective in patients .
11Bert Vogelstein , a leading cancer researcher at Johns Hopkins University , called the method `` a creative and promising line of research , '' but noted the general odds against success .
12`` Unfortunately , our track record shows that far less than 1 percent of our promising approaches actually make the grade in patients , '' he said .
13The EnGeneIC researchers said they had conducted successful safety tests in a large number of monkeys and will start safety trials in patients with all kinds of solid tumors in three Melbourne hospitals next month .
14They said they had discussed licensing their technology with large pharmaceutical companies and others .
15Dr. Stephen H. Friend , head of cancer research at Merck until early this year , said he had been following EnGeneIC 's work for more than a year , and praised the company for trying a method that others had written off without trying .