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Cancer drug effectiveness substantially advanced
Date:4/8/2010

or core. In a paper published in Cancer Cell late last year, the research team showed that coupling iRGD to anti-cancer drugs allowed them to penetrate deep into tumors, effectively increasing the activity of the drugs.

The research reported in this latest Science paper adds a new and important twist to the story: The researchers made the unanticipated discovery that anti-cancer drugs do not need to be chemically attached to the iRGD peptide for iRGD to boost their efficacy. Simply co-administering iRGD with a drug enhances the drug's anti-cancer properties. Co-administration could be even more effective at delivering therapeutic agents inside tumors than conjugating the agents with the peptide. This new paradigm means that iRGD has the potential to enhance the efficacy of already approved drugs without creating new chemical entities, which would complicate the path to approval for clinical use.

In addition to being effective against human breast, prostate and pancreatic cancers grown in mice, iRGD can penetrate other tumor types and could possibly be used to treat most, if not all, solid tumors. The iRGD peptide was also shown to enhance the therapeutic effects of multiple types of anti-cancer drugs, including a small molecule drug, a monoclonal antibody and two nanoparticle drugs. Tumors essentially resistant to a particular drug showed good responses when the drug was combined with iRGD, and tumors partially responsive to another drug were eradicated by the combination.

"We are really excited about the potential of iRGD, and I'd like to thank my colleagues, Kazuki Sugahara and Tambet Teesalu in particular, who made this all happen," said Dr. Ruoslahti. "These results with human tumors in mice are very promising, but we still have to demonstrate the value of iRGD in treating cancers in humans."


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Contact: Josh Baxt
jbaxt@sanfordburnham.org
858-795-5236
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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