Research

November 2018 Lab Update

Significant positive advances are as follows:

1. We are using a mouse colony that mimics human cancer, called the autochthonous approach, where the cancer starts from a single cell and develops just as human cancer progresses. This system is much more efficient than what drug companies use, where the cancer is injected under the skin. Our system allows a natural progression of stimulating the immune system in proper, realistic fashion.

2. We have instituted antibodies against checkpoint inhibitors PDL-1 and CTLA-4. The 2018 Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded this year to the two groups (Japan and Texas) for the discovery of these immune modulators. The biggest drawback to the use of the checkpoint immune inhibitors is the toxic side effects. We have been able to use our innovative Salmonella Delivery System to deliver both the PDL-1 and CTLA-4 proteins without any toxicity whatsoever.

3. We are working at present to develop a method to alter the blood supply to the solid tumor. By changing how blood flows to a tumor, we can cause necrosis, or disintegration of the tumor. This changes the tumor microenvironment to make it more attractive of our Salmonella to invade and colonize these solid cancers. Thus, we are able to use Salmonella to act as an in situ factory to produce a cocktail of immune modulating proteins directly within the tumor itself and eliminate any toxic side effects.

4. Also, we have added promoter genes to our genetic systems that also enhance the effect of all the killing power of the tumor with our genetic engineering. Hopefully, with your continued support and our recent progress, we expect to not only kill the tumor, but also with the application of our system, prevent later metastatic spread.

5. In addition to the genetic engineering advance above, we also added an experiment with chemotherapy from 0-100% to helpbreak down part of the tumor. We are very excited to report that a 75% reduction in the dose of chemotherapy coupled with our genetic engineering construct kills as much tumor as 100% chemotherapy. This advance also gives quality of life to patients without the grave side effects of 100% chemotherapy itself.

Thank you for your generosity that allows us to continue this most exciting work. Our lab was chosen to help run a consensus conference generated by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Health last year. This gave great exposure to our lab and system as we presented our approach and helped lead the seminar. This is a complicated approach but we are making significant progress and again, thank you for your help.

The Basics:
The lab is researching how to use salmonella to transport cancer-fighting therapy to tumors. Unlike current practices to kill cancer, this method causes no side effects.

How it Works:
Salmonella has a natural attraction to cancer cells.

The bacteria can be genetically modified so that it doesn’t cause food poisoning, which is what we typically associate salmonella with.

By adding the cancer-fighting therapy to salmonella, the bacteria goes directly to the tumor sites and disable its ability to survive.

Delivering cancer-fighting therapy only to the tumor allows the healthy cells surrounding the tumor to not be affected. This means no side effects, safer delivery, and – most importantly – patients are able to tolerate treatment much easier than traditional methods.

The Statistics:

We have demonstrated in the laboratory:

1/4th dose of the chemotherapy added to our genetic engineering construct has as much killing power as 100% of chemotherapy.

90% reduction in tumor size and weight in a primary tumor model (Neuroblastoma).

60-90% reduction in tumor size, weight, and number in a Metastic tumor model.

Your Contribution:
When you donate to the Arnold S. Leonard Cancer Research Fund, you are helping find a cure. Donate today to help make a difference!