LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 11, 2005) -- The University of Kentucky’s Center for Pharmaceutical Science and Technology has collaborated with Ohio State University (OSU) cancer researchers in developing the anti-cancer properties of black raspberries to fight head and neck cancer.
Researchers at the universities have found that freeze-dried berries can inhibit the growth of several forms of cancer in rats and hamsters, so they've now begun testing the berries in humans.
OSU faculty and UK faculty and the UK Center for Pharmaceutical Science and Technology have been collaborating for more than a year on the development of freeze-dried black raspberry gels for oral and topical cancer chemoprevention.
“As far as we know, there is no one anywhere else in the world using a bioadhesive gel like we are,” said Dr. Susan Mallery, a dentist and pathologist in the Ohio State University College of Dentistry and a member of The OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Russell J. Mumper, Ph.D., who is also associate director of UK’s Center for Pharmaceutical Science & Technology, will oversee the production of the gel in the Center.
“The promising results in preclinical studies encouraged us to develop the gel,” Mumper said. “This gel allows delivery of a more potent black raspberry extracts and is easily administered to the patient. We are very pleased that NanoMed Pharmaceuticals is in the process of licensing this technology and product from OSU and UK.
New treatment options are critical because oral cancers can be extremely difficult to treat. Surgery is normally used to remove early pre-cancerous lesions, but they tend to come back in nearly half of all cases, often developing into stubborn metastasizing tumors.
The study will be enrolling 20 patients with oral lesions in the initial gel trial. Surgeons will remove a portion of the patients’ lesions and perform a baseline analysis of them. Participants will then be asked to apply the bioadhesive berry gel four times a day for six weeks. After that, the remaining portion of the lesion will be removed and additional studies conducted to see if the berries have altered the tissue’s biological profile. Since opening in 1986, the CPST, which utilizes strict, current Good Manufacturing Practices, has completed more than 200 contract projects at its facility on the first floor of the College of Pharmacy building.
Drugs have been formulated into injectable liquids, freeze-dried products, tablets and capsules and dermatological products.
Now, a new 20,000-square-foot facility is scheduled for completion in 2006 at an estimated cost of $12 million. The new facility will allow the CPST to continue to grow and, when completed, it will be the largest sterile pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in the state and the cornerstone for additional expansion at the UK Coldstream Research Campus.
NanoMed is an advanced drug delivery company focusing on cancer therapeutics and vaccines. It was founded at the University of Kentucky and is currently based in Kalamazoo, Michigan and Lexington, Kentucky.