Newswise — Malignant ascites fluid accumulation is problematic for patients with pancreatic and other abdominal cancers. As this fluid accumulates, the abdomen becomes swollen and painful. In addition, because it contains cancer cells, new tumors can form at locations in a patient away from the source of the original cancer. If left untreated, malignant ascites fluid accumulation can progress to the point of causing difficulties in breathing and even death. As malignant ascites fluid accumulates, it must be removed periodically using a painful and expensive procedure.
Currently, there is no treatment that is effective in slowing the accumulation of malignant ascites fluid.
PharmaCyte Biotech, Inc., a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on developing targeted treatments for cancer and diabetes using its signature live-cell encapsulation technology, Cell-in-a-Box(R), recently announced that it is continuing research in malignant ascites fluid. This time, it is teamed up with Translational Drug Development (TD2) in Scottsdale, Arizona, to conduct an additional preclinical study related to determining the effectiveness of its Cell-in-a-Box(R) live-cell encapsulation technology together with the anticancer drug, ifosfamide, in slowing the accumulation of fluid in the abdomen that accompanies the growth of pancreatic and other abdominal cancerous tumors.
An initial preclinical study showed that the Cell-in-a-Box(R) capsules and ifosfamide combination, injected into the abdominal cavity, was effective in extending the lifespan of mice bearing ES-2 human ovarian cancer, particularly when used in combination with cisplatin – a drug often used for the treatment of ovarian cancer. ES-2 cells grow rapidly in mice and are known to be prolific in producing malignant ascites fluid. A larger second study using the ES-2 tumor model system has just been completed. In the second study, the number of Cell-in-a-Box(R) capsules was varied among some groups of mice, but the dose of ifosfamide, when used, was kept constant. Cisplatin was also given to some of the groups of mice.
This new study will now address the dose of ifosfamide that will be given to the mice, while keeping the number of Cell-in-a-Box(R) capsules constant. No cisplatin will be administered to the mice. This study is being done to determine the most appropriate minimal dose of ifosfamide to use in combination with Cell-in-a-Box(R) for the treatment of malignant ascites fluid using the ES-2 tumor model system. PharmaCyte Biotech expects that its timetable to commence a Phase 1 clinical trial to treat the accumulation of malignant ascites fluid will not be affected by this new study.
“As these preclinical studies progress, we are gaining more and more information as to the ability of the Cell-in-a-Box(R) and ifosfamide combination therapy to delay the accumulation of malignant ascites fluid. In addition, we are defining the parameters for developing a treatment for this malady and thus improving the quality of life for the large numbers of patients suffering with abdominal cancers. We believe that such information will set the stage for future clinical trials designed to assess the effectiveness of our treatment in slowing malignant ascites fluid accumulation,” says Kenneth L. Waggoner, Chief Executive Officer of PharmaCyte Biotech.
PharmaCyte Biotech is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on developing and preparing to commercialize treatments for cancer and diabetes based upon a proprietary cellulose-based live cell encapsulation technology known as Cell-in-a-Box(R). This unique and patented technology will be used as a platform upon which treatments for several types of cancer, including advanced, inoperable pancreatic cancer, and diabetes are being built. PharmaCyte Biotech’s treatment for pancreatic cancer involves low doses of the well-known anticancer prodrug ifosfamide, together with encapsulated live cells, which convert ifosfamide into its active or “cancer-killing” form. These capsules are placed as close to the cancerous tumor as possible to enable the delivery of the highest levels of the cancer-killing drug at the source of the cancer. This “targeted chemotherapy” has proven remarkably effective in past clinical trials.
PharmaCyte Biotech is also working towards improving the quality of life for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer and on treatments for other types of solid cancerous tumors. In addition, PharmaCyte Biotech is developing treatments for cancer based upon chemical constituents of the Cannabis plant, known as cannabinoids. In doing so, PharmaCyte Biotech is examining ways to exploit the benefits of Cell-in-a-Box(R) technology in optimizing the anticancer effectiveness of cannabinoids, while minimizing or outright eliminating the debilitating side effects usually associated with cancer treatments. This provides PharmaCyte Biotech the rare opportunity to develop “green” approaches to fighting deadly diseases, such as cancer of the pancreas, brain and breast, which affect hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide every year.
More information about PharmaCyte Biotech can be found at www.PharmaCyte.com.