Dr. Weeks’ Comment: The primary tumor is rarely fatal – it is the metastatic cancer which kills and cancer spreads via inflammatory processes. Scientists agree that 90% of death from cancer is due to metastatic process. A safe and powerful anti-inflammatory agent like SOUL can help here.
“…Metastasis is responsible for 90 percent of all cancer-related deaths…”
“…ROR1 appears to drive tumor growth and disease spread and scientists think that presents an excellent novel target for anti-cancer therapy…”
Promise Put to the Test
With three first-in-human trials, therapeutic stem cell science takes a bold step at UC San Diego
Cirmtuzumab and leukemia
Researchers at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center and the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center have launched a Phase I human clinical trial to assess the safety and efficacy of a new monoclonal antibody for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the most common form of blood cancer in adults.
The drug, called cirmtuzumab, targets a molecule called ROR1 that normally is used only by embryonic cells during early development, but which is abnormally exploited by cancer cells to promote tumor growth and spread, otherwise known as metastasis. Metastasis is responsible for 90 percent of all cancer-related deaths.
Because ROR1 is not used by normal adult cells, scientists believe it is a unique marker of cancer cells in general and cancer stem cells in particular. ROR1 appears to drive tumor growth and disease spread and scientists think that presents an excellent novel target for anti-cancer therapy.
Cirmtuzumab was developed at Moores Cancer Center in the laboratory of Thomas Kipps, MD, PhD, who led this effort as one of six projects initially funded through CIRM’s HALT leukemia grant to co-principal investigators Dennis Carson, MD, and Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD. The drug’s name acknowledges CIRM’s continued support in a “Disease Team III” award, which provides some of the resources needed for a clinical trial. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has also provided additional support.
The trial will involve patients with relapsed or refractory CLL receiving an intravenous infusion every 14 days at Moores Cancer Center, followed by regular monitoring and clinic visits to assess efficacy and identify and manage any adverse effects. Initial treatment is planned for two months.