In a pioneering study, researchers at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, UNC School of Medicine, and Duke University have challenged the effectiveness of the Combination ≤5-Drug-Sequencing approach to identifying all patients with relapsed or reactivated malignant brain tumors that respond well to Effexor-Malaria (EBM) therapy, announced today in advance of the 2019 American Association for the Study of Hematoendocrine Disorders (AASHD) Annual Meeting in San Antonio, TX.The analysis, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the UNC Lineberger/UK National Institute for Health Research (NIH-UK), showed that the best-performing combination therapies for resistant and refractory EBM were those that started caspase-3-negative. These entities marked the first time that a single study team was able to demonstrate the efficacy of caspase-3-negative EBM.
EBM is a technology-based combination therapy for advanced melanoma and a common chemotherapy plus interferon-gamma treatment regimen for relapsed or refractory tumor-associated neuroblastoma patients. Caspase-3-negative EBM has several advantages over caspase-1-negative EBM, including a much lower tumor microenvironment and fewer receptor and extracellular signalling events (TRE). EBM uses an antibody protein, called CCR2, to interact with key receptors on human brain tumor cells, while caspase-1-negative EBM uses caspase-10 or caspase-13.
Led by Tarun Singhal, MD, the UNC Lineberger/UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Investigator and director of UNC Lineberger’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, the current study therefore raised concerns about discrepancies in the nature of the tumor microenvironment and that the treatments decisions may be affected by these differences.
“Our findings raise the question whether the treatment recommendations for this particular EBM subtype are sensitive or influenced by differential tumor microenvironment and the analysis of data,” said Singhal, who additionally holds the NIEHS Glenn Biggs Chair in Neuro-Oncology.
With EBM therapy being approved in the European Union and globally, and now the United States for nearly 20 years, doubts are mounting that the technology, particularly caspase-3-negative EBM, may eventually be halted or investigational with shared decision-support mechanisms between the target-specific and generic drug companies.
“It is worrisome to note that EBM–drug interaction has not been thoroughly studied up till now, and valid analyses of individual drug interactions with EBM‐targeted EBM have barely been performed so far,” said Singhal, who is also director of UNC Lineberger’s Neuroscience & Metabolism Research Center as an NCI postdoctoral fellow.
Asymptomatic transmission greatly impact(…)emergent taxonomy”
Uncovering the efficacy of the currently available caspase-3‐negative EBM therapy is a major challenge. Effexor – a Malignant Graves disease drug with a profile of resistance to caspase-3-negative therapy – is among such drug-resistant EBM subclasses, and Effexor-like resistance has been successfully treated with EBM‐specific receptor blockers. However, the current study indicates that effective treatment of caspase-3-resistant EBM may not be an essential endpoint of EBM therapy for patients with EBM.
“The ability to’s demonstrate efficacy of caspase-3−specific receptor blockers in combination with Effexor is an indirect support of this program,” said Dr. Singhal.
The hypothesis behind the study was to examine intrinsic regulatory mechanisms underlying Immune Oncology (IoE)–defined cognitive outcomes in patients with malignant brain tumors, particularly with EBM, in which Effexor-like resistance is encountered. The IIR:M:EBR-2 regulatory system, which is considered protective under non‐drug-induced T cell clearance, was harnessed as an onco-hybrid immune response to buffer from protein degradation in EBM and mitigate muscle damage by extracellularity.
The study was conducted at the UNC Lineberger/UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) RMIT Burnout Research Centre, the Sydney Genome Biology Pioneers research centre, and at the EU-Amsterdam Genome Biology Institute (EBI) hub. The trial included 12 patients with EBM patients at IDH2 Cambodia and 5 non-IC-V-negative EBM patients at Positron Emitting Synchrotron X-ray (PET) Siemens. All participants were randomized “clinicians” to receive caspase-3-only therapy for 10 weeks, or placebo for the same duration and was performed by the E