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Alfacell's ONCONASE(R) and R-Amphinase Show Anti-Tumor Activity in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia Cells
Date:12/10/2008

Published in the Journal Blood for the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting

SOMERSET, N.J., Dec. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alfacell Corporation (Nasdaq: ACEL) today announced that American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting abstracts in Blood (2008 112: Abstract 4205 & 2008 112: Abstract 4010) report that ONCONASE (ranpirnase) and R-Amphinase (R-Amph) show anti-tumor activity in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML) cells alone as well as in combination with standard chemotherapeutic agents, expanding the spectrum of malignancies for which Alfacell's proprietary ribonucleases show promising activity.

The abstracts are the result of research conducted by collaborators at the Department of Hematology, Medical University of Lodz in Poland, Alfacell and the Brander Cancer Research Institute and Department of Pathology at New York Medical College. ONCONASE and R-Amph are amphibian endoribonucleases with unique mechanisms of inhibiting the growth and causing apoptosis (programmed cell death) of malignant cells. Previously, ONCONASE has been shown to affect multiple cellular pathways involved in these mechanisms, and has been validated in many solid tumor cell lines, as well as a T-cell leukemia cell line. These reports now broaden ONCONASE's activity into CLL and AML, and include a related endoribonuclease, R-Amph.

For the study in CLL, leukemic cells were isolated from 36 untreated patients with CLL and were cultured for 24-72 hours with either ONCONASE or R-Amph alone and in combination with the purine analogues cladribine (2-CdA) and fludarabine (FA), as well as with doxorubicin. A significant cytotoxic effect of ONCONASE and R-Amph was evident after 48 and 72 hours of treatment, respectively. Synergistic activity was seen in th
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