Plant-based molecule may improve chemo results
experimental molecule IDN 5390 which belongs to the class of
taxanes could make chemotherapy more tolerable and more effective.
New research by Italian company Indena suggests that its experimental molecule IDN 5390 which belongs to the class of taxanes could make chemotherapy more tolerable and more effective.
In previous studies the new molecule, derived from the Yew tree, demonstrated low toxicity and selective activity in the inhibition of angiogenesis. It may also be administered orally. These characteristics make it less invasive than the chemotherapy drugs commonly in use today, according to the company.
Recent in vitro and in vivo tests evaluated the combination of IDN 5390 with paclitaxel, already known as an important chemotherapy drug. The results presented at a symposium in Frankfurt last month, show this combination to increase the efficacy of the treatment, with no increase in toxicity, reported Indena. In particular, the company said, IDN 5390 allows metronomic chemotherapy treatment, or lower, less toxic doses over a longer treatment time.
"The possibility of combining an oral taxane, targeting both cancer cells and tumour vessels, with chemotherapy drugs currently in use, opens the way to an additional therapeutic strategy, in accordance with current guidelines discussed during this important international symposium," said Dr Antonella Riva, senior researcher at Indena.
The research comes from a collaboration between Italian and American institutes including Rome's Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, the Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori in Milan, the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo and New York's Stony Brook University.
Indena called the results of these studies "further proof of the successes obtained by Indena research into cancer therapies derived from the Yew tree." The Italian company already manufactures paclitaxel on an industrial scale. It also has a new licensing agreement with Bayer for its recently discovered anti-cancer molecule IDN 5109.
Chief executive Dario Bonacorsi said: "Emphasis is firmly placed on research into new active principles for the cancer therapies which can then be licensed to large drug companies."
The studies were presented at the Symposium on 'Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics' held in Frankfurt last month, under the auspices of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).