identification of an antibody capable of slowing the progression of tumors

Spanish researchers have demonstrated this antibody, which is able to prevent the occurrence of metastases.

Researchers from the Barcelona Biomedical Research Institute, with the help of the Dutch company Merus, have discovered the potential of an antibody in the treatment of cancer.

Called MCLA-158, it is able to act on cancer stem cells and prevent the appearance of metastases.

A spread blocked

It’s in the magazine Nature Cancer that the results of this study have been published. If MCLA-158 was found to block the spread of cancer to other organs, it helps slow the growth of primary tumors in mice implanted with colon tumor cells from cancer patients.

Eduard Batlle, researcher at IRB Barcelona, ​​summarizes: “We started cancer stem cell research 15 years ago. The path to get here has been exciting, but also very complex, requiring a significant investment of resources and the efforts of many researchers. The medicine of the future starts here”.

Promising results

In detail, precisely, MCLA-158 recognizes two different proteins on cancer stem cells: those promoting the uncontrolled growth of cancer, and the others which are responsible for its extension and therefore its aggravation.

At the base, a clinical trial carried out on patients, of which 3 of the 7 patients obtained partial remissions, and 1 a complete remission, while all presented a shrinkage of the tumor. The antibody has been tested for colon, head and neck, esophageal and stomach cancers.

The specialist summarizes: “This antibody does not interfere with the functioning of healthy stem cells in the body, which are essential for proper tissue function”.

An obvious limitation to this study

Quite logically, the limit lies in the fact that only seven patients were the subject of this study. But the researchers say they are continuing their work and plan to publish new data in the medium term: We hope that the anti-tumor activity reported in the preliminary data will be confirmed”.

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