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Warding Off Radiation Side Effects

2 years, 10 months ago

5903  0
Posted on Aug 20, 2018, 9 p.m.

Oral mucositis are a fact of life as a side effect for many head and neck cancer patients receiving radiation therapy, the inflammatory condition can’t be prevented and can only be treated once it develops, a synthetic enzyme from researchers at Galera Therapeutic is taking aim in hopes to change that.

The enzyme mimetic GC4419 appears to stave off severe oral mucositis a condition in which epithelial cells lining the gastrointestinal tract break down opening mucus membranes to infection and ulceration which can lead to even further side effects. Some patients who develop severe oral mucositis require feeding tubes due to being unable to eat as well as narcotic analgesics to ease pain; in some patients the condition is dose limiting and subsequent chemotherapy may have to be given in decreased doses or delayed.

Superoxide radical level increases are triggered with radiation that are thought to lead to oral mucositis and other side effects. GC4419 has been shown in this study to convert superoxide to molecular oxygen and hydrogen peroxide mimicking functions of naturally occuring superoxide dismutase, and may deliver a knockout punch to cancer in additional to ridding superoxide as it increases levels of cancer cell killing hydrogen peroxide, creating two opportunities to improve radiation therapy: reducing toxicity for normal cells while increasing toxicity to cancerous ones.

GC4419 has completed phase 1 and 2 trials and should enter phase 3 later this year, if approved it could be used to ward off severe oral mucositis and its side effects in patients with other cancer than neck and head cancers such as pancreatic cancer often diagnosed in late stages that is hard to treat because of the location deep within the abdomen which may be treated with high dose radiation for locally advanced disease in 70% of all solid tumors. GC4419 is currently being studied for anti-tumor effects in Phase 1 & 2 clinical trials in pancreatic cancer at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Materials provided by American Chemical Society.

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