For cancer patients the treatment options depend on multiple factors namely: type, stage, patient age, overall health and patient’s preferences.
In many cases, current standard of care can be effective. For CLL and MCL patients it is believed that there is no current treatment that can completely get rid of the disease and therefore most patients are not cured of the disease, but instead the treatment potentially eases symptoms and produces a long-term remission.
For most cancers, treatment options normally considered include, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and targeted therapies. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy have been used for decades but the newer modality is targeted therapies which leverage our greater understanding of molecular biology and are able to be aimed at specific genes, tissues or even proteins. In recent years targeted therapies have improved patient outcomes and this more advanced modality raises the prospect of successful curative treatment of complex disorders such as cancer.
In the targeted cancer therapy area, there are 4 broad approaches, namely:
Monoclonal antibodies, bispecific antibodies, kinase inhibitors and Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cells (CAR-T).
- Monoclonal antibodies target antigens expressed on tumors and have been shown to improve survival in patients with B cell lymphoid malignancies.
- Bispecific antibodies are an emerging area which due to their ability to interact with two different antigens at the same time can facilitate the targeting of multiple disease pathways simultaneously.
- Kinase inhibitors are an emerging treatment aimed at specific intracellular enzymes, known as kinases. Although present in normal cells, kinases can be overproduced or adapted by cancer cells to drive malignant growth. Some cancer cells can be controlled or even eliminated by blocking these kinase enzymes.
- Another emerging area is CAR-T where T cells have been genetically engineered to produce an artificial T cell receptor for use in immunotherapy.
NovalGen is focused on bispecific antibody treatment and has developed a bispecific antibody T cell engager treatment which provides a potentially efficacious yet more straightforward and less invasive treatment approach compared to CAR T-cells as they dispense with the need for ex vivo manipulation and engineering of T cells.