A naturally-occurring peptide as a potential treatment for cancer
Metastases to liver are very common for primary breast, lung, and colorectal tumors, with a 5-year survival rate as low as <5%. Synchronous hepatic metastases may be identified in 10-20% of patients with colorectal cancer and up to 50% of those with some other extrahepatic primary tumors. Furthermore, there is no useful prognostic biomarker for hepatic micro-metastases, which if available could enable earlier intervention. The estimated worldwide incidence of newly diagnosed breast, lung and colorectal cancer in developed countries and more affluent populations in less-developed countries is up to 5 million per year; hence the calculated annual incidence of liver metastases is over one million. Thus, with 10% penetration and a price of $50K per year with one-year course of treatment, the potential annual market size is $5 billion.
A synthetic peptide (~40 amino acids in length) or an improved derivative peptoid or other small molecule will be used prophylactically in pre-metastasis disease or therapeutically to retard metastasis to liver metastasis and metastatic disease progression. Additionally, the level of peptide in a patient's blood can be used as a diagnostic or a prognostic biomarker for metastasis.
Levels in liver of the peptide and its RNA were increased relative in mice that are more resistant to liver metastasis of colon cancer and T cell lymphoma.
Peptide injection to mice that develop liver metastases reduces the number and size of implanted tumors.
Peptide injection inhibits tumor growth in animals before or after the formation of metastases.
The peptide is very stable in mouse serum – 55% of the initial level was detected after 24 hours of incubation, which is much higher than that of typical peptides.
Plans for the coming year:
Further elucidating the mechanism of action of the peptide.
Synthesizing and testing peptide derivatives as pharmaceutically superior product candidates.
Metastatic liver cancer that originates from various types of primary tumors, especially colorectal, breast and lung.
Numerous metastasis-inhibiting drugs have shown activity in preclinical models, but none has yet shown clinical efficacy in patients with tumors. Our novel peptide therapeutic therefore provides a potential solution for a major unmet clinical need in cancer.