Spectrum Pharmaceuticals has reported preclinical data on Apaziquone (EO9). The drug is an anticancer agent formulated for administration directly into the urinary bladder. It is activated by certain enzymes present in higher amounts in cancer cells than in normal cells.
The study found that invasive bladder cancer has significantly lower levels of NQO1 and higher levels of Glut-1, a marker for reduced oxygen tension (hypoxia). Many tumors grow under conditions of hypoxia. This makes them insensitive or resistant to treatment by X-rays. EO9 is activated in tumor cells both in normal oxygenation and in hypoxia. Data from the present study suggests that E09 can be used in combination with radiation as a hypoxic selective therapy for the treatment of invasive bladder cancer.