Targeted therapies for cancers are important areas of research. Many of these targeted therapies target and attach to tumor-specific proteins (e.g., enzymes, cell surface receptors, etc.) as a means of either interfering with the subject protein, or as a way to deliver a drug to kill or inhibit the growth of the cancer cell itself. Unfortunately, such therapeutic approaches can become less effective over time due to the propensity of many cancer cells to rapidly mutate or otherwise change phenotype, which may modify or reduce the level of expression of the targeted protein(s). One characteristic of many solid tumors is the presence of disrupted or damaged collagen in the supporting extracellular matrix in the localized environment of the diseased tissue. PolyCol’s unique ability to anchor to damaged collagen thus provides a much more consistent targeting vehicle for proven cancer therapeutics, and points to a number of conditions where the therapeutic approaches envisioned by Stuart Therapeutics should have an impact.
The conditions we are evaluating include what are known as “ hollow organ” or intraluminal cancers, such as bladder, colon, and stomach cancers. We are also evaluating the use of PolyCol, linked to a chemotherapy drug, as a supporting therapy to cancers that are operable but that also have significant metastatic potential. In these situations, PolyCol would be applied after excision of the tumor.