Innovative therapy ‘tricks’ and destroys cancer cells
pharmafile | April 11, 2022 | News story | Sales and Marketing |
A novel therapy studied at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Cancer Centre is headed for clinical trial in patients with glioblastoma, a rare, aggressive form of brain cancer, which is also the most common primary brain tumour in adults.
In spite of decades of global research, only incremental gains have been made to extend or enhance the quality of life for patients with glioblastoma. Treatment options for glioblastoma are limited and typically include a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
Now, however, a new clinical study open at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin will evaluate an alternative treatment that is administered orally.
“The discovery that GaM has anticancer activity against glioblastoma in pre-clinical studies is extremely exciting; it opens the door for developing it as a drug for treatment of glioblastoma in patients,” says Christopher Chitambar, MD, Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Biophysics, Division of Hematology and Oncology at MCW. “The anticancer mechanism of GaM applies to other solid tumours as well,” he adds.
GaM was originally developed by Harvard and Stanford educated scientist Lawrence R Bernstein, PhD, is an orally available form of the metal gallium, which, in the body, shares many chemical properties with the highly oxidised form of iron, Fe(III).
Numerous studies examining the relationship between iron and cancer show that increased levels of iron int eh body can be associated with increased cancer risk and severity, as cancer cells depend on iron to multiply and spread.
Because of gallium’s similarity to Fe(III), it enters cells instead of iron, preventing their multiplication.
The treatment evolved from years of research led by Christopher Chitambar, MD, and his lab, examining iron-dependent processes in cancer biology, and the mechanisms by which gallium compounds target iron metabolism, and block malignant cell growth.
The trial, being conducted at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, is currently accepting participants and has an anticipated completion date of December 2025.