Cancer Treatment with New Antibody Drug

Release Date: 20-Sep-2019

A new immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer has been discovered by the scientists of A star, which is an institute of molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB). They generated an antibody drug named PRL3-zumab, which is a humanised antibody to target the PRL-3 protein. This target is act as a tumour antigen that promotes cancer growth and it is found in about 80 per cent of 11 common cancers.


The use of antibodies for the treatment of cancer comes under the category of immunotherapy. This will boost the immune system of he body and kills the cancerous cells. By targeting the tumour specific antigen, the PRL3-zumab humanised antibody could be used to develop targeted cancer treatments for a variety of cancer.


This new therapy has several advantages over the traditional therapeutics and has fewer side effects. It is due to the fact that this drug is not damaging surrounding healthy cells that do not express PRL-3. These research works were published in leading scientific journal Nature Communications on 6 June 2019


According to the Qi Zeng, director of A*Star, PRL3-zumab represents an innovative and disruptive approach to cancer therapy, as it is highly targeted to cancer cells and has less side effects compared to traditional cancer drugs. It was conventionally perceived that antibodies cannot be used to target intracellular oncotargets due to their inability to cross cellular membranes.


He further says, we discovered that the intracellular PRL3 oncotarget could be externalized on the surface of cancer cells to be targeted by antibodies to trigger the host’s immune system. This discovery opens a new avenue for cancer immunotherapy for a spectrum of intracellular oncotargets.


In 2018, phase 1a and phase 1b of the clinical trials of PRL3-zumab was completed, in the relation with solid tumours at the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore. Further, the drug is also undergoing Phase 1b extension in liquid cancers (such as AML and multiple myeloma) at NCIS, monitored by Singapore Clinical Research Institute (SCRI).


Furthermore, PRL3-zumab will shortly be undergoing Phase 2 clinical trials at the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) to test the efficacy of PRL3-zumab against broader types of solid tumours. Phase 1 of the clinical trial gives an idea about the safety profile and tolerability of the PRL3-zumab. The phase II of clinical trial will done for observing the efficacy and analyzing the concept of therapy.

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