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Paper in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics Reports that a Novel Combination of Alfacell's ONCONASE(R) and Rosiglitazone Induces a Synergistic Apoptotic Effect in Several Cancer Cell Lines
Date:7/21/2008

SOMERSET, N.J., July 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alfacell Corporation (Nasdaq: ACEL) today announced that a paper published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics (2008; 7(7):1871-9) reports that a combination of ONCONASE (ranpirnase) and the thiazolidinedione antidiabetic drug rosiglitazone shows a promising effect for cancers with increased expression of PI3K-dependent Fra-1 expression or Survivin.

The paper is the result of NIH-funded in vitro research conducted at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vt., investigating two known phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) downstream proteins, Fra-1 and Survivin, as potential targets for cancer therapy. The study demonstrated that the combination of ONCONASE and rosiglitazone synergistically decreased cell viability and increased cell apoptosis in several cancer cell lines, including lung, breast, prostate and ovarian, due to decreased Fra-1 and Survivin expression. The results also suggest that combined therapeutic use may overcome the resistance produced in some cancer cells by the activation of survival pathways and their targets. The study concludes the novel drug combination of ONCONASE and rosiglitazone is a promising combination.

"This in vitro study further confirms the previously published in vitro and in vivo studies and demonstrates the potential of ONCONASE for effective use in cancer treatments via multiple molecular mechanisms of action," said Kuslima Shogen, Alfacell's chief executive officer. "Multiple drug resistance is a critical problem in the effective treatment of cancer and this research adds to the previous body of work indicating that ONCONASE could play an important role in treating the disease."

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