Study underway into new head, neck cancer drug

MIAMI – South Florida researchers are studying an investigational drug as a first-line therapy against head and neck cancers.

Dr. Elizabeth Franzmann with Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is leading the arm of the trial at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

The focus is on a drug called apg-157, which would be administered before surgery and other treatments.

“It’s an extract of curcuma longa, which is a spice that’s used naturally and we’ve known for years that is has effects on cancer. What we’re trying to do with this drug is give it in a new way to see if it will have an effect on tumors for patients. We’re hoping that we can treat the tumors and the treatment we ultimately have to give, the definitive treatment, is less toxic,” Franzmann said.

The study involving two sites is expected to be completed within a year.

Also in today’s health news, a new study finds men and women do not get the same treatment for heart disease.

The study by Massachusetts General Hospital found men were 20-percent more likely to be prescribed statins.

Women were nearly 40-percent more likely to be told to lose weight, exercise more or quit smoking. Researchers examined the advice given to 3,000 high risk men and women between 2017 and 2020.

Heart disease is the most common cause of death in the U.S., claiming around 700,000 people each year.

About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.