Ovarian cancer shrinks by more than 50% in preclinical trial

Monday, 16 December, 2019

Ovarian cancer shrinks by more than 50% in preclinical trial

The Hudson Institute of Medical Research has completed a preclinical study investigating life sciences company Invion’s Photosoft compound on mice with ovarian cancer — with promising results.

Ovarian cancer is a devastating disease and new treatment options are badly needed. As noted by Invion CEO Craig Newton, “There are 1500 new cases of ovarian cancer in Australia every year with around 4000 to 5000 Australians currently living with the disease. Internationally, there are around 240,000 new cases a year.

“The grim reality is that nearly half of those diagnosed with the cancer will succumb to the disease within five years of the diagnosis.”

The Hudson Institute study evaluated the first batch of Photosoft, with researchers analysing both immediate and medium-term effects on tumours. They observed that Photosoft caused the immediate and specific death of tumour tissue, with no apparent adverse effects in the surrounding healthy tissues. Indeed, the size of the tumours in animals treated with Photosoft technology reduced to less than half of their original size over a three-week period.

Importantly, the researchers observed that tumour destruction was accompanied by an influx of immune cells, indicating an anti-tumour immune response. This is significant because current cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, can kill healthy cells and supress the body’s natural ability to fight infections.

The preclinical study is said to mark the first scientific demonstration of Photosoft in a clinically relevant model and supports the Hudson Institute’s original laboratory findings that Photosoft can rapidly kill cancer cells in vitro.

“These results suggest that Photosoft technology may be an effective method to achieve targeted tumour destruction,” said Dr Andrew Stephens, Head of the Ovarian Cancer Research at the Hudson Institute.

“Over the coming months we will be working with the Photosoft technology to characterise how tumour destruction and immune response are linked, paving the way for clinical trials using Photosoft technology as a cancer therapy.”

Invion is currently developing an optimised version of Photosoft called IVX-PDT, which is better suited to large-scale GMP manufacturing while meeting clinical and regulatory requirements. Data from the Hudson Institute’s study with the Photosoft technology supports the view that IVX-PDT can potentially be used to treat a range of solid cancers.

Invion will soon be commencing Phase 1b human trials of IVX-PDT to treat skin cancer, while the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute will be commencing studies using IVX-PDT for the treatment of ano-genital cancer in 2020.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/nerthuz

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