(June 19, 2015) – Could a radical new drug change the course of treatment for cancer patients?
Some call G-202 a “cancer grenade” because of the way it releases medicine into the body.
“It’s going to be a much more human way to try to treat a cancer patient with better efficacy and essentially no side effects,” said Dr. Craig Dionne, CEO of GenSpera, the biotech company working on the drug.
The name, G-202, may sound like something from a science fiction movie, but Dionne said the drug is grounded in reality and years of research.
“The origin of the drug is from a very, very long time ago,” he said. “The plant from which we isolate the cytotoxin has been used since the ancient Greeks and all sorts of folk medicine.”
Dionne said researchers tapped into that old knowledge to produce a drug for the modern era.
“We were able to capture an active ingredient and turn it into a killer for cancer.”
The potency of the cytotoxin is 100 times stronger than other chemotherapeutic agents, but Dionne’s team has discovered a way to maximize the medicine’s impact while minimizing the side effects.
“It’s a pro drug, a drug that’s designed to be activated only with the tumor.”
By combining the toxin with a specialized targeting agent, G-202 acts as a kind of “cancer cell sniper.” It targets only the enzymes found on the blood vessels that feed tumors. Once locked down, the active ingredient is released into the cell. The tumor eventually starves to death.
Currently G-202 has its sights set on four major medical enemies.
“We’re examining liver cancer, glioblastoma, prostate cancer and kidney cancer,” Dionne said. “This is a truly innovative drug unlike anything else that`s been used in man before.”
Pending FDA approval, the drug could hit the market in three to four years.
4 Your Health is sponsored by American Senior Communities