Preliminary Phase I/II clinical trial data on MatrixPharmaceutical Inc.'s injectable therapeutic implant fortreating prostate cancer were reported Sunday at the AmericanUrological Association Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.The goal is to provide a non-surgical alternative to treatingcancers with chemotherapeutic agents by exposing the tissue toa local sustained dose of the drug.

Perinchery Narayan of the University of California SanFrancisco, one of the trial's principal investigators, presenteddata on the direct intratumoral injection of Matrix's MPI 5011.It consists of a biodegradable protein matrix, which controlsthe rate of drug release; a vasoconstrictor,to hold the drug inthe tissue; and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), a commonchemotherapeutic agent. Patients received multiple doses ofthe agent, two weeks apart, through either transperineal ortransrectal injections. There were no adverse systemicreactions.

The 12 patients received escalating doses up to 120 milligramsof 5-FU. Preliminary results indicate that the disease stabilizedin five of the patients, three of the patients showedsymptomatic improvement, cancer-grade reduction occurred intwo patients, and one had complete reduction of the cancer.One patient with metastatic disease and locally progressivedisease continued to progress despite therapy, however.

"We are encouraged by these early results which indicate thatdirect injection of our MPI 5011 product into solid prostatetumors is a feasible treatment modality," said Andrew Korey,vice president of medical and regulatory affairs at Matrix(NASDAQ:MATX) of Menlo Park, Calif. -- Jennifer Van Brunt

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