Researchers have developed the podocalyxin antibody,
demonstrating that it slows both tumor growth and spread by comparing cancer metastases with control samples. These findings were recently published in the Breast Cancer Research
journal and may lead to major developments in treating aggressive colon cancer
In this study, researchers managed to describe how inhibiting podocalyxin has an enormous potential to slow down the growth of tumors and its spread to different parts of the body in mice models of the disease.
Podocalyxin is a protein marker that can be found in several aggressive tumors. In collaboration with the Centre for Drug Research and Development, scientists from the University of British Columbia have developed an antibody targeting this protein marker, which can slow tumor progression. “It really, really knocks down the invasiveness of the cells and their ability to migrate and spread to other sites in the body, which is the hard thing to treat in metastatic cancer,” explained
Dr. Kelly McNagny, researcher from the UBC’s Biomedical Research Centre.
Podocalyxin is known to be associated with subsets of colon, bladder and renal cancers, the majority of ovarian cancers and 5% of breast cancers. These researchers had already shown in previous studies that the presence of podocalyxin in tumors was correlated with disease progression and poor survival rates.
Dr. McNagny explained, “In most cases, if you have this particular marker on your primary tumor, you’re much more likely to have a poor disease outcome later. Our data suggest that expression of this protein enhances the ability of a subset of tumor cells to spread to other sites in the body, and this new antibody inhibits that process.”
This new discovery can provide additional hope for patients suffering from metastatic disease. Dr. McNagny and his team intend to further test their results through toxicology studies on the antibody they developed.
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