(Image source from: Cancer Awakens)
An Indian-origin researcher is emerging a two-fisted, antibody-based approach to destroying fatal ovarian cancer, which he believes could also be modified to kill breast, prostate and other solid tumors.
Jogender Tushir-Singh, developed the dual-pronged approach from the University of Virginia in the United States, purposes to overcome obstacles that have undermined or else promising immune therapies for ovarian cancer.
If the approach proves successful, it may even rescue some failed therapies, letting doctors move them to the clinic, where they could benefit patients, he said.
"There are a lot of efforts in terms of cancer immune therapy, but the success of these is really limited in solid tumors," said Tushir-Singh.
"I strongly believe, and with my own experience while working in the pharmaceutical industry, that this advancement will allow us to rescue and give a second lease of life to a lot of antibodies that have failed in the clinic.
"This is all based on a large amount of clinical data, and we have strategically exploited this information to improve the therapeutic efficacy against ovarian cancer," he said.
Tushir-Singh distinct to find a way to make the tumor environment more attractive despite the protective fence around it.
He caused an antibody that he likens to a "two-headed arrow."
"The antibodies need to find a home," he said, "so let's design one head to bind to a receptor that is highly expressed in ovarian tumors."
Tushir-Singh sought to intensify his antibody's cancer-killing power.
The outcome: One head of the "arrow" strikes what is known as the "death receptor" on the cancer cells, telling them to die.
The additional head strikes a receptor known as FOLR1, a firm marker that proposes a poor prognosis amongst ovarian cancers.
Tushir-Singh's engineered antibodies are over 100 times more effective at killing cancer cells than the antibodies that have made it to scientific trials, his lab work suggests.
The approach evades toxicity issues that have plagued previous antibody therapies, he said.
By Sowmya Sangam