Click-To-Release Chemotherapy – A Novel Approach

May 23, 2018  Source: Ddu 160

Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) are new anti-cancer drugs, which are currently used for the treatment of lymphoma and metastatic breast cancer. ADCs consists of an antibody to which a chemotherapeutic drug is attached.

Tagworks Pharmaceuticals, based at Radboud University Medical Center, have developed a novel technique for the targeted delivery of ADCs to treat tumors. By the controlled 'click-to-release' of the chemotherapy drug from its tumor-binding carrier, the treatment would reach the right location.

Marc Robillard of Tagworks Pharmaceuticals said, "These ADCs work very well; but for many other tumors, including colon cancer and ovarian cancer, this method is not yet applicable. The problem is that there are not many suitable cancer-specific receptors that automatically drag such an ADC into the cell, and if the ADC gets stuck on the outside, the chemotherapy drug will not be released, and therefore can't do its job."

To ensure that the chemotherapeutic drug was released properly, even if the ADC remains on the outside the tumor cells, Tagworks have designed a smart variant of the ADCs.

Robillard says, "Our innovation is that we inject a second component that 'click-releases' the chemotherapy drug from the ADC. As a result, a large quantity of chemotherapy is released very quickly, attacking the tumor. This method will hopefully enable us to treat many more types of cancer."

Robillard further added, "We studied ovarian cancer and an aggressive form of colon cancer. In both cases, we observed a pronounced anticancer effect. For control purposes, we also applied a 'traditional' ADC, i.e., without the second component that causes the chemotherapy drug to release, but this approach had no therapeutic effect in these forms of cancer."

By Ddu