SOMERSET, N.J., April 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alfacell Corporation (Nasdaq: ACEL) today announced that Dr. Intae Lee with the University of Pennsylvania has reported that Alfacell's ONCONASE (ranpirnase) could be a promising radiation sensitizer for lung cancer treatment. Dr. Lee presented the pre-clinical in vivo and in vitro data in a poster at the 2008 American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting being held April 12 - 16 in San Diego.
In the poster titled "The inhibition of radiation repair by ranpirnase +/- I-buthionine sulfoximide on lung cancer," Dr. Lee provided pre-clinical evidence that ONCONASE +/- I-buthionine sulfoximide significantly increased the radiation-induced growth delay of lung tumors in vivo without increases in skin reaction, compared to radiation alone. Additionally, in vivo and in vitro data presented indicated that ONCONASE significantly increased apoptosis (programmed cell death) in several human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines (A549, NCI-H1975 and HOP-62). Dr. Lee and his team of researchers also showed that the radiation repair mechanisms known as sub-lethal damage repair (SLDR) and potentially lethal damage repair (PLDR), which lead to radiation resistance in tumors, were significantly inhibited by ONCONASE in vitro.
"Our research suggests potential utility of ONCONASE as a radiotherapy enhancer for the treatment of NSCLC patients," said Dr. Lee. "It is important to overcome PLDR as it can ultimately lead to radiation resistance. One of our key findings is the inhibiting impact of ONCONASE on the PLDR mechanism, which is a pre-requisite to developing a radiotherapy enhancer."
Kuslima Shogen, Alfacell's chief executive officer, added: "This work by Dr. Lee and his team provides further evidence of the potential for ONCONASE to mitigate the resistance that often develops in, and confounds the treatment of NSCLC."
ONCONASE is a first-in-class product candidate based on Alfacell's proprietary ribonuclease (RNase) technology. A natural protein isolated from the leopard frog, ONCONASE has been shown in the laboratory and clinic to target cancer cells while sparing normal cells. ONCONASE triggers apoptosis, the natural death of cells, via multiple molecular mechanisms of action.
About Alfacell Corporation
Alfacell Corporation is the first company to advance a biopharmaceutical product candidate that works in a manner similar to RNA interference (RNAi) through late-stage clinical trials. The product candidate, ONCONASE, is an RNase that overcomes the challenges of targeting RNA for therapeutic purposes while enabling the development of a new class of targeted therapies for cancer and other life-threatening diseases. In addition to an ongoing Phase IIIb study in malignant mesothelioma, Alfacell is conducting a Phase I/II trial of ONCONASE in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and other solid tumors. For more information, visit www.alfacell.com.
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SOURCE Alfacell Corporation