VG Life Sciences joined cancer patients, oncologists and cancer researchers across the country in their excitement about a recently published study showing an association between a heart medication class commonly known as beta-blockers and a striking increase in survival with ovarian cancer.
Researchers involved in the study believe beta-blockers inhibit the molecular pathways that promote tumor growth.
VG Life Sciences scientists agree. Earlier this year they obtained a patent for the company’s cancer therapy that targets the pathways that promote tumor growth.
And an early clinical trial of the therapy showed its great promise.
We call our approach Metabolic Disruptive Technology (MDT). We are currently preparing to begin a Phase 2 clinical trial of our MDT cancer therapy.
Let’s look more closely at the recent study at that’s got everyone excited.
The senior author of the study published in the journal Cancer is at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The study was not a clinical trial. It was a multi-institutional, retrospective analysis of a database containing information about 1,425 women treated for ovarian cancer between 2000 and 2010.
All of the women received chemotherapy treatment for their cancer. They found 269 of the women were taking heart medications for conditions not linked to cancer. 193 were taking selective beta-blockers. The remaining 76 were taking nonselective beta-blockers.
The women taking the nonselective beta-blockers had an average four years longer survival.
Why is that?
Studies have shown that chronic stress promotes the growth and spread of ovarian and other cancers. One way is by stimulating so-called fight-or-flight hormones such as adrenaline and norepinephrine, said Anil Sood, professor of gynecologic oncology and cancer biology at the University of Texas MD Anderson. Beta-blockers can mitigate stress but previous studies that looked at their effect on ovarian cancer have been mixed.
Studies in mice have shown that nonselective beta-blockers also inhibit molecular pathways that promote tumor growth, Ron Winslow of the Wall Street Journal pointed out in his coverage of the study.
Likewise, VG Life Sciences’ MDT compounds have also been shown to inhibit the molecular pathways that promote tumor growth.
Since cancer cells rapidly divide, they have very high-energy demands, and they employ unique metabolic mechanisms to meet those demands. Specifically, our MD technology hones in on glucose and lipid consumption and autophagy inhibition. Our research indicates that metabolic disrupting agents prevent sufficient energy generation to weaken the tumor cells’ repair functions, slow their growth, and raise their susceptibility to common standards of care.
The compounds have already shown safety and efficacy in a Phase 1 clinical trial conducted at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio.
In the clinical trial, a woman with metastatic ovarian cancer and a patient with metastatic lung cancer saw tumor regression. In fact, the ovarian cancer patient has been allowed to continue receiving the therapy as VGLS continues its MDT clinical research.
More than 21,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year, the cancer society estimates. More than 14,000 will die from it, making it the fifth most deadly cancer among women. Recurrence rates are high and there have been few advances made beyond standard chemotherapy in some 30 years.