This week in therapeutics




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Breast cancer

Actin a2 smooth aorta muscle (ACTA2; a-SMA)

Mouse studies suggest a polyethylene glycol formulation of docetaxel conjugated to acetylated carboxymethylcellulose could help treat breast cancer. The conjugated docetaxel self-assembled into 120 nm-diameter nanoparticles, called Cellax. In an orthotopic mouse model of breast cancer, injection of Cellax decreased both the number of a-SMA-expressing stromal cells within the tumor and metastasis compared with injection of Abraxane nab-paclitaxel or native docetaxel. Next steps include manufacturing Cellax in preparation for Phase I trials.
Celgene Corp. and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. market Abraxane to treat breast cancer (see Going stromal with docetaxel, page 6).

SciBX 6(33); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.885
Published online Aug. 29, 2013

Patent application filed; available for licensing from MaRS Innovation
Contact: Parimal Nathwani, MaRS Innovation, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Murakami, M. et al. Cancer Res.; published online Aug. 1, 2013;
Contact: Shyh-Dar Li, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Toronto,
Ontario, Canada