Since the beginning of this century, aclarubicin has no longer been available for the treatment of cancer patients in Europe. A few years ago the Leiden chemist Sjaak Neefjes discovered a new working mechanism of this ‘forgotten’ medicinal product. Aclarubicin is not entirely forgotten since it is still used in China and Japan for the treatment of patients suffering from Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Recently Neefjes decided to have the compound produced in India. The aim is to get market approval from the European Medicines Agency, initially also for AML.
Laurel Schunselaar (LUMC) is the winner of the Paul Janssen Futurelab Nomination Letter 2019 for the best clinical proposal entitled ‘A phase Ib dose finding study with aclarubicin in patients with metastasized uveal melanoma.’ AG Jochemsen and his lab are involved in efforts to identify new treatments for uveal melanoma, and within this context they have provided the necessary pre-clinical evidence for this proposal that aclarubicin is very efficient in the inhibition of growth and survival of uveal melanoma.