In this study, the researchers coupled IF7 with a fluorescent probe and administered it to mice bearing human colon tumors. They watched as, within minutes, the probe lit up the tumors. Next, they coupled IF7 with SN-38, a potent anti-cancer drug. They also engineered the tumors to glow, so they could measure them after daily injections with IF7/SN-38. Tumors in treated mice shrank dramatically while tumor size in mock-treated mice was unchanged. It's worth noting that the amount of SN-38 the mice received in this study was only one-seventh the amount a previous study used to treat tumors in mice. Perhaps for that reason, blood tests showed no signs of side effects in IF7/SN-38-treated mice.
"Although we tested colon tumors in this study, theoretically any tumor that induces expression of annexin 1 in blood vessels would work with this systemit just depends on what kind of drug it's paired with," said Minoru Fukuda, Ph.D., professor in Sanford-Burnham's National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Cancer Center and co-author of the study.
Given its extremely specific tumor-targeting activity, the authors conclude that IF7 may represent a clinically relevant vehicle for anti-cancer drugs. Next, they hope to further prepare this technology for clinical trials in humans.
|Contact: Heather Buschman, Ph.D.|
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute