ProAgio --- Promising against Pancreatic & Breast Cancers
Hi friends, just sharing the following:
Drug is promising against pancreatic and breast cancers
- Date: February 9, 2021
Source: Georgia State University
The drug is effective at treating pancreatic cancer and prolonging survival in mice, according to a new study.
A second study shows the drug is also effective against triple-negative breast cancer, a fast-growing and hard-to-treat type of breast cancer that carries a poor prognosis.
Clinical trials are set to begin in 2021.
The dense fibrotic stroma is what makes pancreatic cancer, which has a five-year survival rate of just eight percent, so lethal and difficult to treat.
Among triple-negative breast cancer patients, research shows denser stroma is associated with poorer survival and high recurrence rates.
"All solid tumors use cancer-associated fibroblasts, but in pancreatic cancer and triple-negative breast cancer, the stroma is so dense there's often no way for conventional drugs to penetrate it and effectively treat the cancer," said Liu.
The stroma also helps the tumor hide from your body's immune system.
Immunotherapy, a type of treatment that uses your immune system to fight cancer, is less effective against tumors protected by a dense stroma that is rich in cancer-associated fibroblasts.
Cancer-associated fibroblasts promote angiogenesis, or the development of new blood vessels. Angiogenesis plays an important role in the spread of cancer because solid tumors need a blood supply to grow.
In both studies, Liu and his team show ProAgio has a profound effect on tumor vasculature.
In the case of pancreatic cancer, it reopened blood vessels that had collapsed due to high extravascular stress caused by the dense stroma.
In the case of triple-negative breast cancer, the drug's anti-angiogenic activity reduced irregular, leaky angiogenic tumor vessels.
In both cases, ProAgio allowed drugs to effectively reach the cancer.
Liu's drug is unique in that it targets only cancer-associated fibroblasts -- a subclass of the cells that is actively engaged in supporting cancer -- rather than inactive fibroblasts.
This reduces side effects of the drug and increases its effectiveness.
The first trial, to determine patient tolerability and recommended phase II dose, will begin in early 2021 at the National Institute of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md., and will be led by Christine Alewine, M.D., an oncologist at the National Cancer Institute.
In late 2021, Emory University is set to begin a multi-site trial among breast cancer and pancreatic cancer patients.