Shares of CytRx Corp. soared Wednesday after the drug developer said its potential cancer treatment fared much better than an established chemotherapy in mid-stage testing on patients with soft-tissue sarcoma.
THE SPARK: The Los Angeles company said study investigators found that patients taking its treatment, aldoxorubicin, experienced a median progression-free survival of 8.4 months. That compares to 4.7 months for patients who just took the chemotherapy doxorubicin, which has been on the market for decades.
Progression-free survival measures the time from the start of treatment until a patient's cancer begins advancing again or the patient dies.
Investigators also found that the disease had not progressed after six months for 67 percent of aldoxorubicin patients, compared to 36 percent for patients in the other group.
THE BACKGROUND: Soft-tissue sarcoma is a cancer that occurs in muscle, fat, blood vessels, tendons and other tissue.
Aldoxorubicin combines doxorubicin with a molecule that binds directly to albumin, the most plentiful protein in the bloodstream. Tumors are protein-hungry and concentrate albumin. CytRx said that helps deliver the molecule with doxorubicin to the tumor site, where the chemotherapy is released.
CytRx said this combination allows for greater doses of doxorubicin to be administered while reducing toxic side effects.
SHARE ACTION: Up nearly 75 percent, or $1.78, to $4.17 in morning trading, while the Nasdaq exchange fell slightly. The stock had already advanced 28 percent so far this year, as of Tuesday.