New drug has the potential to revolutionize cancer drug delivery


Scientists at UCL have made a therapeutic antibody which can unclog and regulate the blood vessels located in cancer tumours. This means that the way cancer treatments are delivered can be improved.

According to researchers, the new drug can produce a much-improved result for people who currently respond badly to the way cancer is cared for at the moment. This may include people who have: prostate cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer, colon cancer, and lung cancer.

“the novel antibody can amplify the potential for cancer treatment to diminish solid tumours“

They also discovered that the novel antibody can amplify the potential for cancer treatment to diminish solid tumours. This encompasses cancers that are unaffected by immunotherapy drugs and CAR T-cell therapy, which both scientists and clinicians have had problems with in the past.

Co-lead author, Professor John Greenwood said “Cancers need a blood supply to grow, but when new vessels form inside a tumour they are typically abnormal, resulting in compromised oxygen delivery that may render the tumour more aggressive.

"This impaired blood supply also limits the delivery of therapies reducing their effectiveness and contributing to treatment resistance. We asked whether blocking the activity of a novel molecule that damages blood vessels, namely LRG1, would allow vessels to grow more normally thus reducing tumour expansion and, most importantly, enhancing the delivery and efficacy of other drugs."

Co-lead author Professor Stephen Moss said "Although counterintuitive, finding a way to normalise cancerous tumour blood vessels has become a clinical objective, but identifying an effective therapeutic tool has proven elusive. Our results provide direct evidence that blocking the LRG1 protein, which is produced at high levels in tumours, normalises the vasculature and enhances the current sub-optimal effectiveness of immunotherapies, including checkpoint inhibition and CAR-T cell therapy, in solid cancers. This opens up the potential to achieve a far better result in many cancer patients who respond poorly to current standard of care."

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