New Discovery May Redeem Cancer Immunotherapies That Failed During Clinical Trials

April 19, 2021 10:17:00

new study conducted by researchers from the University of Virginia Cancer Center may be the key to better immunotherapies for the treatment of solid tumors caused by triple-negative breast cancer, colon cancer and ovarian cancer; these cancers were found to be effective in lab tests but failed in human clinical trials.

In the study, the researchers explained how antibody approaches were effective in killing cancer tumors when lab tests were conducted but were ineffective in patients.

Jogender Tushir-Singh of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, UVA School of Medicine, explained that the team’s findings showed that the approaches disabled the patient’s immune system response instead of enhancing it. This discovery enabled Tushir-Singh to considerably grow the effectiveness of the approaches in the laboratory models, which improved overall survival and decreased tumor size. The researchers noted that the study’s results suggest the renewed potential for therapies for cancer patients.

Tushir-Singh added that their study results could possibly be used to considerably improve the clinical effectiveness of the current PD-L1 targeting antibodies, which are FDA-approved, especially the ones that have been permitted for use on deadly triple-negative breast cancer. The study’s findings were published in the “EMBO Molecular Medicine” scientific journal.

In cancer treatment, the objective of immunotherapy is to use the immune system of the body to recognize and eliminate cancer cells. Antibodies engineered in the lab are usually the core CAR T-cell therapy and immunotherapy facilitators, having become common in the past 10 years.

However, while these therapies have shown to be effective in treating various blood cancers and melanoma, they have proven to not be as efficacious against solid tumors, which is a major obstacle. This is mainly because it’s challenging for immune cells to penetrate and reach the core of solid tumors.

While DR5-targeting antibodies that had been tested prior to this had decreased tumor sizes in immune-deficient mouse models and showed promising results in lab tests, they did not improve the survival in patients when tested in phase 2 human clinical trials. This is despite the fact that many major pharmaceutical companies have spent billions on them.

In an attempt to solve this issue, researchers have developed an approach that targets a receptor found on the surface of cancer cells, known as DR5, og death receptor-5), using antibodies. This approach makes it easier for the immune cells in the body to enter into a solid tumor, all without introducing the toxicity induced by chemotherapy into the patient’s body.

Such research findings highlight how much work goes on behind the scenes before a remedy is available to patients, and companies in the bioscience acceleration space, such as XPhyto Therapeutics Corp. (CSE: XPHY) (OTCQB: XPHYF) (FSE: 4XT), deserve plenty of credit for the work they do.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to XPhyto Therapeutics Corp. (CSE: XPHY) (OTCQB: XPHYF) (FSE: 4XT) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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