Vestar Inc.'s liposomal form of the cancer drug daunorubicinshowed clinical promise as a treatment for Kaposi's sarcoma inAIDS and for solid tumors, according to data published inabstracts in the Pro-ceedings of the American Society of ClinicalOncology (ASCO).

In Phase I testing in solid tumors, 25 patients with tumorsresistant to standard chemotherapy safely tolerated theliposomal agent in higher doses than those commonly usedwith the free agent, without mouth sores or balding, and withonly sporadic nausea. One patient had a shrinkage of tumor,and tumors in seven more stopped growing.

Phase III testing in solid tumors is planned to start this year,the San Dimas, Calif., company (NASDAQ:VSTR) announcedFriday, with Phase II tests to begin within the next fewmonths.

Interim results of Phase I/II testing of the agent in 16 Kaposi'spatients showed a complete response in two patients who hadall lesions disappear. The size of lesions shrank at least by halfin 10 other patients.

In three Kaposi's patients whose disease had spread to internalorgans, two had partial responses and one had a completeresponse. Internal spread of the skin cancers of Kaposi'ssarcoma, a cancer commonly present in AIDS infection, can befatal.

Side effects from the Kaposi's treatment were less than usuallyexpected.

The studies are to be presented in San Diego at the ASCOmeeting in May. Vestar shares gained 63 cents to $11.63 onFriday. -- Roberta Friedman, Ph.D.

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.