Modified Macrophages to Treat Prostate Cancer

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Stephanie Filleur
Inhibiting modalities of the Pigment Epithelium-Derived Factor (PEDF) in prostate cancer growth.
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Prostate Cancer is the second leading cancer-related death in men. While earlier stages are more easily treated, later stage prostate cancer is extremely aggressive. A method has been developed to genetically modify a patient’s immune cells with a noted inhibitor (PEDF) of prostate cancer cell growth. Through this method, incurable, late-stage Castration-Refractory Prostate Cancer (CRPC) can be directly targeted. Additionally, treatment with this method could reduce the use of toxic chemotherapeutic agents, with the aim of improving patient quality of life, while prolonging patient survival.

Market Applications:

• Cancer Therapeutic

Features, Benefits & Advantages:

Synthetic forms of the inhibitor are expensive to produce, unstable, and nonspecific. However, PEDF gene-modified macrophages allow for the natural form of the inhibitor to be present, maintaining specificity and activity. A macrophage modification method developed for expression of the inhibitor presents the opportunity to treat patients with their own cells in a non-toxic, specific, and long-lasting manner. 

Macrophages are harvested from patient bone marrow and can be modified by different methods to express pigment epithelium-derived growth factor (PEDF), then re-introduced to the patient. This is a novel method, both for treating CRPC with PEDF and modification of macrophages for autologous cell therapy.

• Innovative and non-toxic

• Specific and long lasting response

Development Stage:

Extensive work has been done to demonstrate anti-cancer activity of PEDF and the effect of PEDF on macrophage activation and migration in vitro and in vivo, and the mechanisms involved.  Active research continues.