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Geron Sees Promise for Drug

The company says a cancer drug shows early promise.

Biopharmaceutical company


(GERN) - Get Geron Corporation Report

says one of its experimental drugs may benefit breast cancer patients receiving radiation therapy.

Based on recent results from early trials, the drug, dubbed GRN163L, helped sensitize patients to radiation as a part of cancer therapy, the company says. The drug belongs to a class of treatments known as telomerase inhibitors.

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As a part of animal trials, immune-compromised mice were injected with human breast cancer cells and separated in groups with each group receiving a different treatment. All mice receiving GRN163L in addition to radiation saw a significant reduction in tumor size compared to the other treatment groups, including mice receiving radiation alone.

In studies on cells by themselves, those treated for six weeks with GRN163L were more susceptible to radiation-induced cell death and saw a 30% reduction in cell survival compared with those treated with radiation alone.

Results were published in the

International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics


Geron's shares were up 1.7% to $8.99 Tuesday.