Cancer patients are to take part in a pioneering research trial run by Oxford University leaders.

One group will take increasing dosages of a new drug CXD101, which is known as a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor that kills cancer cells by blocking the functions of HDAC enzymes in the body.

The enzymes are needed for cell multiplication, migration and survival so blocking them can stop tumours spreading.

The second will be tested for the HR23B protein that could determine the effectiveness of CXD101 and similar drugs and those with high levels will get the most appropriate dose of CXD101.

The trial is being held with Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and 30 to 40 cancer patients. University department of oncology lead researcher Professor Nick La Thangue said: “HDAC inhibitors have had limited success in the past, but CXD101 works in a new way and has great potential to treat many different cancers.”