Arrogene scientists are featured in an article about new targeted therapies to fight breast cancer. Reporter Kim Lamb Gregory interviewed Arrogene co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer: “Dr. Julia Ljubimova and her research team are testing a family of drugs for HER2- positive metastatic breast cancer called Polyolefin. The drug is nanoscale Trojan Horse that sneaks into the cancer cell carrying a variety of weapons that stage a multipronged attack on the cancer, including Perception.”
“Herceptin plays a dual role. It blocks existing receptors on the surface of the cancer cell, and at the same time plays the role of the vehicle that brings other inhibitors into the cancer cell,” said Ljubimova, professor of neurosurgery and biomedical sciences and director of the Nanomedicine Research Center.
“It enters the cytoplasm to the cancer cell. In addition, we put in specific molecular inhibitors of any future receptors, so we burn the candle from both ends. Not only do we block from the outside, we prevent from the inside.”There’s one more exciting possibility, she said, which involves including one more weapon inside the Trojan horse: a substance that stimulates the patient’s own immune response to help fight the cancer cells.
“We genetically prepared a new ‘fusion gene’ that consists of an immune-stimulating protein, interleukin-2, and a gene of Herceptin,” Ljubimova said. The nano-weapons are in the advanced preclinical stage, which means they are at least a year away from being presented to the FDA for approval. “With the technology of nanomedicine, we can treat not only primary breast cancer, but we can better treat metastasis,” Ljubimova said.
Nanotechnology may be able to cross the blood brain barrier and deliver drugs to stage a multipronged attack on breast cancer, giving more hope to survivors, and taking one more step toward making some late-stage breast cancer a chronic but manageable condition.
The complete article is available at the Ventura Star.