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Innovative Antibody Brain Cancer Drug

Hoag Family Cancer Institute and Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute at Hoag have begun testing a promising treatment for patients with glioblastoma (GBM), the deadliest form of brain cancer.

Chosen by Nascent Biotech, Inc. to become the first testing site in the nation, and through philanthropic support, Hoag is currently enrolling patients for a Phase 1 clinical trial to test the effectiveness of Pritumumab, novel immunotherapy treatment.

“Being able to provide our patients with access to unique, novel and promising therapies upholds our commitment to provide them with the safest, most advanced treatment available,” said Jose Carrillo, M.D., Hoag neuro-oncologist and principal investigator on the trial. “Pritumumab is a natural human antibody, so it integrates into the natural human immune response like a hand in a glove. While chemotherapy destroys tumors, immunotherapy directly targets and attacks only the cancer cells.”

Pritumumab is a unique monoclonal antibody that attacks cancer cells originating in the lining an organ – referred to as the epithelium. Prior Phase I and II clinical trials in Japan focused on the treatment of high-grade primary brain cancers including GBM.

Pritumumab works by targeting ectodomain vimentin, a protein found on the surface of epithelial cancer cells. Because vimentin is found in a variety of cancers, the clinical trial at Hoag could have implications for more common cancers with epithelial origins, such as breast, lung, and pancreatic cancers, even melanoma. The Hoag trial will employ a unique Phase I design that can ultimately treat a variety of brain cancers including gliomas and other primary brain tumors as well as brain metastases and leptomeningeal cancers arising from breast, lung and other solid tumors.

This Phase I clinical trial is supported by philanthropy and leverages the expertise of Hoag Family Cancer Institute and Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute in treating all aspects of brain tumors. With more than 20,000 new cases of GBM diagnosed in the U.S. every year, Hoag’s infrastructure in its Center for Research Education, as well as Hoag’s neurosciences and cancer experts and their reputation appealed to Nascent Biotech in choosing a national site.

The study will be conducted by Hoag’s Neuro-Oncology Clinic that helps guide the entire continuum of comprehensive care for patients with brain tumors.

“The trial is a natural fit for Hoag, which is devoted to compassionate patient-centric care, creative innovation, and clinical excellence,” Dr. Carrillo said. “We are excited to do our part to turn the tables on brain cancer.”