Tumor Activated Pro-soft Drugs
Cancer is a complex group of greater than 100 diseases, all of which share the common feature of uncontrolled spreading of malignant cells. Cancer occurs when cells grow in an uncontrolled manner resulting in the formation of a mass of tissue called a tumor or a lesion. Malignant tumors, which are cancerous, can spread to surrounding tissue. Cells from malignant tumors can also detach and travel through the body via the bloodstream, thus spreading (known as metastasis) the cancer. A tumor forming in this manner will consist of cells that are identical to the original tumor.1
Despite the advances and progress that modern medicine and technology have achieved, in most cases, the cause of a cancer is unknown. Historically, the majority of cancer drugs have been chemotherapies, which are cytotoxic, or cell-killing agents that attack cells that are rapidly dividing or proliferating. Unfortunately, there are many types of cancer cells that actually have low rates of proliferation; consequently, chemotherapy on these types of cancer is ineffective. As a result, there remains a substantial need for better cancer compounds and therapies.1
Arisaph's ultra-smart drug discovery platform is aimed at specific cancer cells versus chemotherapies that are less defined and more toxic. Our ultra-smart drug discovery platform aims to develop cytotoxic agents that can be turned on or off depending on whether they encounter specific targets. For example, Arisaph has synthesized ultra-smart pro-soft drugs that are inactive until they reach a specific enzyme (e.g., fibroblast activating protein (FAP), which is located on the tumor stroma or in the tumor itself), then become hyper-active at the tumor site, and finally, become inactive upon diffusing away. This approach is expected to minimize adverse side effects in the body and maximize efficacy by killing only specific cancer cells. Such tumor activated pro-drugs would be well-suited for treating patients with breast, colon, lung, pancreatic, and prostate cancers. Approximately 1.5 million patients in the United States are diagnosed annually with such tissue specific cancer diseases.
For more information on cancer, please visit the website of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at www.cancer.gov.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/npcr. Accessed April 24, 2008