Cancer drug destroys tumours in pre-clinical trials

October 9, 2014 by Kim Lyell, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
Cancer drug destroys tumours in pre-clinical trials

Scientists at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute have used an experimental drug produced from the seeds of a rainforest plant to cure solid cancer tumours in pre-clinical trials.

The study led by Dr Glen Boyle at QIMR Berghofer's Cancer Drug Mechanisms group found a single injection of the drug EBC-46 led to rapid breakdown of tumours in a range of human tumour models.

Dr Boyle says the findings of the pre-clinical trials at QIMR Berghofer suggest the drug could be effective in human patients.

"We were able to achieve very strong results injecting EBC-46 directly into melanoma models, as well as cancers of the head, neck and colon," Dr Boyle said.

"In most cases the single injection treatment caused the loss of viability of cancer cells within four hours, and ultimately destroyed the tumours."

Dr Boyle says EBC-46 works in part by triggering a cellular response which effectively cuts off the blood supply to the tumour.

"In more than 70 per cent of pre-clinical cases, the response and cure was long-term and enduring, with very little relapse over a period of 12 months."

EBC-46 is a compound extracted from the fruit of the Blushwood tree which is found in north Queensland rainforests.

EBC-46 was discovered by the Queensland biotechnology company EcoBiotics.

The is being developed as a human and veterinary pharmaceutical through EcoBiotics' subsidiary company QBiotics.

The has been used by practising veterinarians to successfully destroy or shrink tumours in pets – including dogs, cats and horses.

QBiotics is currently undertaking formal veterinary clinical trials with EBC-46 in Australia and the USA.

A final regulatory approval is still required for a human Phase I clinical trial.

Dr Boyle says QIMR Berghofer is keen to pursue further research to determine if EBC-46 could be made more effective.

"We must stress at this point that EBC-46 will only be trialled in the short-term for tumours which can be accessed by direct injection or topical application," Dr Boyle said.

"There is no evidence to suggest EBC-46 would be effective against metastatic cancers."

The pre-clinical trials at QIMR Berghofer have been largely funded by QBiotics with additional support from the NHMRC.

Explore further: New clues to aggressive breast cancer

More information: Boyle GM, D'Souza MMA, Pierce CJ, Adams RA, Cantor AS, et al. (2014) "Intra-Lesional Injection of the Novel PKC Activator EBC-46 Rapidly Ablates Tumors in Mouse Models." PLoS ONE 9(10): e108887. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0108887

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4 comments

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halloweenhouseparty
not rated yet Oct 09, 2014
sounds too good to be true.
iloveseble
not rated yet Oct 10, 2014
"...from the seeds of a rainforest plant." At least you're promoting, kinda, the idea that plants can destroy cancer (yes, in animals so far). What does that mean for the Australian rain forests? Deforestation for agribusiness has reached seriously alarming heights.

Know what else has been shown to kill cancer--in humans? A whole foods, plant-based diet. No rain forests destroyed, skyrocketing methane levels (agribusiness is #1 cause of climate change) drop, as does our weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, chances of getting cancer, heart disease, type II diabetes, having a stroke...just about every disease out there that involves inflammation.

I take a cancer drug for my RA (!!); horrible side effects. So Big Pharma comes out with another cancer drug that lessens the horrible side effects of the first drug (methotrexate--TOXIC). Am I the only one who finds this insane? The US is the most heavily medicated country in the world. And we're sicker and fatter than ever. Drugs failing.
iloveseble
not rated yet Oct 10, 2014
"...from the seeds of a rainforest plant." At least you're promoting, kinda, the idea that plants can destroy cancer (yes, in animals so far). What does that mean for the Australian rain forests? Deforestation for agribusiness has reached seriously alarming heights.

Know what else has been shown to kill cancer--in humans? A whole foods, plant-based diet. No rain forests destroyed, skyrocketing methane levels (agribusiness is #1 cause of climate change) drop, as does our weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, chances of getting cancer, heart disease, type II diabetes, having a stroke...just about every disease out there that involves inflammation.

I take a cancer drug for my RA (!!); horrible side effects. So Big Pharma comes out with another cancer drug that lessens the horrible side effects of the first drug (methotrexate--TOXIC). Am I the only one who finds this insane? The US is the most heavily medicated country in the world. And we're sicker and fatter than ever. Drugs failing.
xartaart
not rated yet Oct 14, 2014
4 years ago (2010) the article about the same drug said it would be tested in humans in 2011 but in 2014 they are still in preclinical tests fase...
It sounds like the researchers made this announcement in effort to find money and i quote a part of the 2010 article ..."and hopes to raise enough funds to begin human trials in 2011"

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