A recent shortage in a widely used cancer treatment drug points to the importance of research going on at the UW-Madison Paul Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. Dan Mulkerin is working on an oral form of chemotherapy. When you take it as a pill it gets converted in the body to the same drug used in the intravenous method.
Not only is it more convenient but as Dr. Mulkerin points out it can be more effective that way. More of the cancer fighting drug gets into the cancerous cell using the pill as compared to just injecting it into the blood stream intravenously.
The pill form of chemo has been around for a couple of years and now Cancer Center researchers are working on the best way to use it. How often should it be taken and in what dose that will optimize its effectiveness?
Dr. Mulkerin says the side affects of the pill are similar to intravenous chemo but the recent shortage of intravenous 5-FU proves it's good to have alternatives.
The UW has a long history in the development of cancer fighting treatments. Intravenous 5-FU, the most commonly used treatment for colon caner was discovered on the UW-Madison campus fifty years ago.
For more information on what's being done at the UW Paul Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center go to www.cancer.wisc.edu