$2.2 million grant will fund trials for locally developed cervical cancer drug

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

by Page Jones

The Oklahoman

An Oklahoma cancer researcher may have found the secret to preventing cervical cancer.

Dr. Doris Benbrook, a researcher at the Stephenson Cancer Center in Oklahoma City, has developed a drug that she believes will halt the spread of cervical cancer.

Thanks to a $2.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, Benbrook and her team are set to begin human trials on her drug.

The drug is used to stop cervical cancer before it starts in those who are infected with human papillomavirus, or HPV, Benbrook said at a news conference Wednesday.

Benbrook explained that cancer is not a normal side effect of HPV, but actually an accident, and what her drug does is prevent that accident from happening.

The drug is considered an alternative for women who did not receive the HPV vaccine when they were young enough.

“Those patients have treatment options, which include excision of parts of the cervix, (but) Dr. Benbrook has a compound now that she is hoping will prevent the cancer without the surgery,” Dr. Joan Walker, a gynecologic oncologist, said.

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