A clinical trial with TL-118--a new treatment for metastatic pancreatic cancer--that has been ongoing at the Hadassah University Medical Center and three other oncology centers in Israel, has been expanded to the United States.
TL-118. produced by Tiltan Pharma Ltd., belongs to the family of angiogenesis-inhibiting drugs, which means it inhibits new blood vessel formation in tumors and thus cuts off their blood supply and growth. Angiogenesis, the process by which new blood vessels are formed, is a hallmark capability of cancer cells. Anti-angiogenic therapy has, therefore, emerged as a most promising strategy with solid tumors, which rely on aggressive angiogenesis for their growth.
The new United States trial will be conducted at White Plains (NY) Hospital, and will include patients who have been newly diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer and not yet treated with any chemotherapy. A control group will receive standard chemotherapy, while the treatment group will receive TL-118 in addition to chemotherapy.
Dr. Dan Costin, Co-Medical Director of the White Plains Hospital cancer program and Principal Investigator for the TL-118 study at White Plains Hospital, related: "We are happy to introduce this cutting-edge therapy to our pancreatic cancer patients. Unfortunately, metastatic pancreatic cancer is a disease with very poor prognosis and we are urgently seeking new solutions that might enhance survival."
TL-118 was initially tested in a mouse model of pancreatic cancer. In these pre-clinical studies, TL-118 monotherapy inhibited tumor growth significantly, as compared to the standard-of-care chemotherapy. Moreover, when TL-118 therapy was combined with standard-of-care chemotherapy, the tumors were eliminated in all the treated animals.
To date, over 100 cancer patients have been treated with TL-118 for up to four years, according to Tiltan Pharma, jointly owned by Yissum, the Hebrew University's Technology Transfer Company, and other investors from Israel and Canada.