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Light Sciences Oncology Announces Results of Study on Immunotherapeutic Mechanism of Aptocine(TM), a Novel Light-Activated Drug Therapy for Cancer

Preclinical Study is Subject of Upcoming ASCO Presentation

BELLEVUE, Wash., May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Light Sciences Oncology, Inc. (LSO) today announced that a new preclinical study has yielded evidence that the company's novel light-activated drug Aptocine(TM) (formerly Litx(TM)) may enhance anti-tumor immunity and prevent metastases. Results of the study will be presented in a poster session at the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Orlando, Florida, on May 30, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM. The study was conducted by Dr. Sandra Gollnick at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York.

"With mounting evidence that Aptocine may be an active immunotherapy in addition to its demonstrated ability to ablate tumors, this drug may offer greater benefit to cancer patients than initially contemplated. Dr. Gollnick's thorough and exhaustive study defines an immune effect in cancer which is unprecedented," said LSO's President and CEO Llew Keltner, M.D., Ph.D.

In the preclinical study, Aptocine was used to treat primary tumors and examine prevention of metastases in the 4T1 tumor model, an aggressive, spontaneously metastasizing murine mammary tumor model that mirrors human breast cancer. When grown in the mammary fat pad of BALB/c mice, untreated 4T1 tumors rapidly metastasize to the lung, liver, lymph nodes, and brain. Primary 4T1 tumors grown in mice were treated and animal survival was followed. To determine whether the therapy could enhance anti-tumor immunity and reduce metastases, the lymph node (LN) cells from treated and control mice were transferred to naive recipient mice. Recipients were challenged with a tumorigenic dose of 4T1 cells 3 days after adoptive transfer and primary and secondary tumor growth in the recipients was examined.

Key outcomes of the study include:

  • Aptocine treatment significantly prolonged survival in treated animals. (All treated animals survived to termination at 24 days while median survival for controls was 8 days.)
  • Immune cells (LN cells) from an Aptocine-treated mouse could prevent establishment of injected tumors in treatment-naive mice. Tumors were unable to develop in almost half of animals that received immune cells from Aptocine-treated mice. (All mice that received immune cells from control animals died as a result of tumor growth.)
  • Mice that received immune cells from Aptocine-treated mice had significantly (p <0.0007) fewer metastases in their lungs.
  • Aptocine acts as an in vivo vaccine--challenging a naive mouse with tumor 40 days after transferring immune cells from an Aptocine-treated animal still conferred immune protection.
  • The systemic effect is mediated at least in part by CD8+ T-cells; enrichment in T-cell transfer increased effect and depletion eliminated effect.

ASCO Poster Details

Title: Characterization of an antitumor immune response after light-activated drug therapy using talaporfin sodium in a spontaneously metastasizing mammary tumor model.

Abstract: 3052

Date: Saturday, May 30, 2009

Time: 8:00AM - 12:00PM

Poster Board: F12

Location: Level 2, West Hall C

The poster abstract will be published in the ASCO Annual Meeting Proceedings, Part I, distributed with the May 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, and is available on the website

ASCO accepted two additional LSO abstracts for publication: "A Phase 1/2 Safety and Efficacy Study of Intratumoral Light-Activated Drug Therapy Using Talaporfin Sodium in Patients with Inoperable Hepatocellular Carcinoma (Abstract #e15684)" and "A Phase 2a Study of Light-Activated Talaporfin Sodium in Patients with Primary or Recurrent Glioblastoma Multiforme (Abstract #e13026)."

About Aptocine

Aptocine (talaporfin sodium) is a water-soluble drug activated by an included small, single-use, disposable drug activator. Aptocine is designed to provide tolerable, effective, and repeatable treatments for cancer patients. Packaged with Aptocine, the drug activator contains a tiny array of LEDs at the end of a very narrow (only 1.2 mm wide) flexible coated micro-wire. Administering physicians insert the LED array into a tumor and follow with the intravenous injection of Aptocine. Emitting red light at a discrete frequency and intensity and for a fixed time period, the LEDs activate Aptocine. An energized Aptocine molecule results in the production of singlet oxygen, which can kill target tissues with minimal side effects through vascular closure and apoptosis. Illumination with low-intensity LED light can continuously energize each molecule of Aptocine, resulting in a continuous supply of singlet oxygen molecules.

About Light Sciences Oncology

Light Sciences Oncology (LSO) is developing Aptocine(TM) (talaporfin sodium) for solid tumors as well as other indications. LSO has completed treatment of patients in a Phase 3 trial of Aptocine in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and is currently enrolling patients in a Phase 3 trial for metastatic colorectal cancer (MCRC). LSO has also completed a Phase 1/2 trial and has initiated a Phase 2a trial in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlargement of the prostate, and has clinical or preclinical programs in cardiovascular disease, eye disease, neurofibromatosis, and dermatology. LSO's development organization oversees engineering, clinical trials, manufacturing, and regulatory/legal affairs. The company has positioned itself for growth with a strong portfolio of intellectual property, innovative applications in development, and an exceptionally capable and efficient team.

About Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), America's first cancer center, was founded in 1898 by Dr. Roswell Park. RPCI is the only upstate New York facility to hold the National Cancer Center designation of "comprehensive cancer center" and to serve as a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Over its long history, Roswell Park Cancer Institute has made fundamental contributions to reducing the cancer burden and has successfully maintained an exemplary leadership role in setting the national standards for cancer care, research and education.

    Llew Keltner, M.D., Ph.D.
    President & CEO

    Robert M. Littauer
    Vice President,
    Chief Financial Officer
    & Treasurer

Aptocine(TM), Litx(TM), and Light Infusion Therapy(TM) are trademarks of Light Sciences Oncology, Inc.

SOURCE Light Sciences Oncology, Inc.
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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