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06/01/12

Oncozyme Pharma

A phase II clinical study is presently recruiting patients, adult men and women, with unresectable and locally recurrent or metastatic colorectal cancer undergoing standard chemotherapy to evaluate the potential of a new anti-cancer agent.

Objective:

The purpose of this study is to investigate the safety and efficacy of the use of OCZ103-OS in combination with standard of care for metastatic colorectal cancer subjects with disease progression following a first line treatment.

Hope and Science

The only means of discovering new weapons in the fight against cancer is to keep the research going, which inevitably leads to testing medicines in a clinical setting. Studies on voluntary patients allow us to advance our knowledge on cancer. However, the low rate of participation in such clinical studies by eligible patients poses a big challenge. The following text relates the story of Mr. Alain Gourd1, a colorectal cancer survivor who participated in one of the first studies for testing a new anticancer agent being developed by a small biotech company based in Montreal, and who agreed to share with us certain elements that he believes are behind his victory over cancer.

In 2003, after years of flawless annual medical exams and an unshakeable impression of good health, Mr. Gourd receives a brutal diagnosis: stage IV colorectal cancer, the more advanced form of colorectal cancer and a life expectancy of about 6 months. Despite the shocking news, he refuses to abdicate. He explains that in the seconds following the announcement of the diagnosis, he felt a heavy physical malaise. But at the same time, an inspiring thought came through: “If a simple verbal communication had succeeded in transforming a sensation of being perfectly healthy into that of a dying man, it also meant that it was in fact the mind that dictated to the body that it was sick". A strong conviction was born: "My mind can also give a positive message to my body, I can heal". From that moment on, he started looking for a doctor who shared his belief. His quest also led him to gather and review large amounts of information on treatment options for the “hopeless” case that he was. This is when he became aware that clinical trials in cancer, offering experimental treatment opportunities, were being done in his own neighbourhood hospital centers. He understood that these clinical trials offered fabulous opportunities to receive certain well-established drugs that may not yet be readily available, as well as to try experimental treatments still in early development, but having demonstrated suitable characteristics to qualify as potentially promising treatment options. Mr. Gourd systematically started to select clinical studies which are the most cutting-edge and aggressive. One of the experimental treatments in which Mr. Gourd received was from Oncozyme Pharma’s initial clinical trial, using OCZ103-OS for the treatment of stage IV colorectal cancer. He is presently in complete remission and enjoying life’s every moment of happiness, one day at a time. He is convinced that OCZ103-OS, along with a new set of healthy habits and priorities in life, played an important role in his victory over cancer. By participating in several clinical trials, including the recent study using OCZ103-OS, Mr. Gourd not only survived five surgeries and ninety-nine chemotherapy treatments, but he also helped science gain ground in its fight against this terrible disease.

Many clinical trials are recruiting patients at all stages of cancer in different cancer centers across Canada and Quebec. You may find more details on these studies at www.quebec.canadiancancertrials.ca and search for colon cancer trials. Oncozyme Pharma is presently recruiting patients for its second phase II trial using pentamidine (OCZ103-OS) with patients who have stage 4 colorectal cancer.

1 Alain Gourd is the immediate past Chairman of the Board of the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada. He is also a well-known personality in the communications and media community, having held several important positions within big corporations such as Bell Globe Media, owner of CTV, The Globe and Mall and Sympatico-Lycos, BCE media, Cancom, as well as several important positions within the federal public function.

For more information please visit the Oncozyme Homepage


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