Researchers at the Endocrine Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) reported in the latest edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) that they were able to safely and effectively deliver a next-generation nanomedicine to mice with metastatic thyroid cancers and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs).
Cancer cells in mice were tagged with a special marker (luciferase). This graph shows that treatment with CYT-21625 suppressed the growth of cancer cells when compared to the FDA approved chemotherapy paclitaxel.
The nanomedicine, CYT-21625, created as a collaboration between Dr. David Kingston of the University of Virginia and CytImmune Sciences Inc., is notable because it selectively targets solid tumors and delivers two complimentary anti-cancer agents on the same nanoparticle with less toxicity to patients.
“We already knew that our 1st generation nanomedicines could deliver high doses of the otherwise toxic Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNFα), which effectively cracks open solid tumors,” said Dr. Larry Tamarkin, CEO of CytImmune. “This study demonstrates that CYT-21625, one of our 2ndgeneration nanomedicines, not only can deliver TNFα, but can increase the efficacy of cancer killing agents like paclitaxel by carrying them safely into cancerous tumors — all on the same nanoparticle.”
Researchers at the NCI found that CYT-21625 outperformed the FDA-approved drug paclitaxel in each of the three mouse models tested during the study. Performance was determined by overall survival as well as by direct measurements of pre-determined biological markers specific to each cancer and model being tested. Two of the cancers involved in the study are rare cancers with very poor prognosis. Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) has a 5-year survival rate of less than 5% according to the Columbia Surgery Center. PNETs, the cancer from which Steve Jobsdied, has a 5-year survival rate of 16% in patients who are unable to have their cancer removed by surgery.
“We believe this technology offers a clear path forward to making cancer treatments more effective and less toxic to patients, and we look forward to working with our partners, including scientists, doctors and patient advocates, to prove the potential of this technology in human clinical trials,” added David Oarr, CytImmune’s Chief Communications Officer.