The molecular biology lab of the Integrated Cancer Prevention Center (ICPC) at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (TASMC), under the leadership of Prof. Nadir Arber and Dr. Shiran Shapira, experimented with a new therapeutic approach for treating mice with lung cancer with novel drug Gammora over the past few weeks. The studies yielded promising results with the malignant tumors shrinking by 50% over a period of just two weeks, according to a statement issued by the company.
The trials, that involved 60 mice, caused no side effects, toxicity or allergic reactions to Gammora, a novel drug that proposes a new therapeutic approach by attacking only the affected cells, not the healthy ones. ICPC Molecular Lab believes Gammora will demonstrate its efficacy also on other cancer types. Additional experiments on other types of malignant tumors are expected to start soon, including on pancreatic cancer.
Gammora’s mode of action involves a combination of targeted viral vectors with unique peptides derived from the viral protein, which are required for the viral transmission process. These peptides cause multiple replications of the viral DNA to be introduced into the infected cell, instead of just one. This leads to genomic instability of the infected cell, triggering the apoptosis, or self-destruction process of the cell.
The new therapeutic approach is unique in its ability to impact only the carcinogenic cells, leaving the healthy cells unaffected. This gives it an edge over other approaches as the exclusive focus on the target cells eliminates the onset of side effects. In addition, introduction of the peptide to carcinogenic cells with specifically added non-functional DNA starts the self-destruction process of the tumor cell. Hence, if the proposed therapy is administered with DNA molecules to cancer patients, it is expected to lead to remission of the carcinogenic tumor.
Gammora cancer therapy was developed by Zion Medical, the developer of HIV AIDS therapy in collaboration with Prof. Zeev Steger, head of the AIDS Clinic at the Kaplan Medical Center. Studies on human blood resulted in 99.7% cure of the HIV in just 12 days of treatment.
Zion Medical reported clinical studies will begin shortly in cancer and HIV patients in several medical centers worldwide.
Gammora was named “outstanding cancer research paper” out of 4,800 submissions at leading international conference Digestive Disease Week held in Chicago in May 2017.
Prof. Nadir Arber and Dr. Shiran Shapira, heads of the molecular biology lab at TASMC ICTC, commented, “We are excited by the very promising the results of the trial. We will now repeat the trial that just ended and have already started experimenting with the drug on other cancer types. We believe this innovative system could be adapted to nearly all types of malignancy and look forward to witness the tumors shrink in the upcoming studies.”