Animal Studies Help Treat End-Stage Skin and Kidney Cancers

NEW ORLEANS, La-Advanced skin and end-stage kidney cancer patients may have a better chance of survival because of a new synthetic enzyme.

The findings of several animal studies using the synthetic enzyme were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's 92nd Annual Meeting. The studies were conducted by researchers at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, along with MetaPhore Pharmaceuticals in St. Louis, Missouri.The enzyme showed an ability to reverse the extreme blood-pressure drop that is a common side effect of high-dosage IL-2 cancer therapy. The research also showed that the compound enhances the anti-cancer properties of IL-2 therapy.

IL-2 immunotherapy works by activated natural killer cells that have the ability to recognize and destroy many types of tumors. It is an approved treatment for inoperable metastatic melanoma and metastatic renal cell carcinoma.

IL-2 use is limited and has life-threatening side effects including hypotension. A majority of IL-2 cancer patients require intensive care unit intervention and are unable to complete the treatment.

Synthetic enzyme M40403 has show to effectively reproduce the free-radical fighting properties of the natural SOD enzyme that is deficient in cancer states. When in excess, free radicals deactivate a class of molecules, called catecholamines, which aid the body's natural blood pressure regulatory system. By reducing superoxide, the synthetic SOD enzyme restores the levels of catecholamines necessary to constrict blood vessels and reverse hypotension.