Historical trial for cancer drug developed in Oklahoma begins at Stephenson Cancer Center

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — A new cancer drug, created by a doctor at the OU College of Medicine, will be tested in humans as part of a Phase 1 clinical trial.

OK-1 was created and developed in Oklahoma, without the support of a pharmaceutical company. Dr. Doris Benbrook began work on the drug more than a quarter century ago.

“It is very exciting to reach the point where we can test OK-1 in a clinical trial,” said Benbrook, who is a professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the OU College of Medicine. “This drug is not available anywhere else in the world right now. We believe it has tremendous potential for treating cancer without causing toxic side effects.”

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Following the Food and Drug Administration’s approval, OK-1 will be given to women with advanced-stage ovarian, endometrial, and cervical cancer.

Dr. Benbrook has been experimenting with OK-1 for decades. The drug “tricks” cancer cells to disable a certain protein that helps the cells thrive.

Phase 1 trials will determine how high of a dose can be administered to a patient. It will be conducted at the Stephenson Cancer Center.

“This is a very exciting time to be conducting the first Phase 1 trial for a drug developed on our campus,” said Robert Mannel, M.D., director of Stephenson Cancer Center. “It is only possible because of Dr. Benbrook’s passion and determination and the ability of Stephenson Cancer Center to offer Phase 1 clinical trials. We have a very special team of doctors, nurses, researchers and staff who work together to safely give these new drugs to humans.”