width=240Residents of Latrobe Valley may be able to benefit from a potential treatment drug for the lethal, asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma.

Trialed and developed by Adelaide company, Bionomics, the drug BNC105 controls the disease by cutting off the blood supply to cancerous tumours.

Vicky Hamilton, secretary of Gippsland Asbestos Related Diseases Support (GARDS) said the group supported anything that could provide good health for mesothelioma sufferers.

Ms Hamilton said, If a company has come up with something they feel will advance the cause for mesothelioma sufferers or get rid of the tumour that would be wonderful.

Compared to the state average, the Latrobe Valley had seven times mesothelioma cases, informed Ms Hamilton.

The 2-year clinical trial announced last week will be done in 12 hospitals across the country and mesothelioma patients can apply to be involved.

Deborah Rathjen, chief executive of Bionomics said the new drug shut off blood supply to tumours along with directly killing cancer cells, the same way a chemotherapy treatment does.

After the first line chemotherapy, she said, mesothelioma had no effective treatment.

The motivation was to come up with therapy that would be less susceptible to resistance in cancers, she explained, and added, It is very exciting to launch this trial and giving some hope to patients who do suffer from substantial pain.

The trial involves the participation of up to 60 patients and Rathjen hopes to gather interim data for the first 28 patients by early next year.

Visit www.bionomics.com.au, or email clinicaltrials@bionomics.com.cau or phone (08)83546101 if you are interested in participating in the trial.