This week in therapeutics




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Prostate cancer

IL-6; signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3)

In vitro and mouse studies suggest inhibiting IL-6 or STAT3 could help treat castration-resistant prostate cancer. In a mouse model of prostate cancer, repeated treatment with the generic androgen receptor antagonist flutamide increased STAT3 activation and expression compared with vehicle treatment and led to drug resistance. In the mice, shRNA against STAT3 or treatment with a soluble IL-6 receptor (CD126) delayed tumor growth, whereas shRNA control or vehicle treatment did not. Soluble IL-6 receptor plus the androgen receptor antagonist Casodex bicalutamide decreased tumor growth compared with either treatment alone. Next steps could include testing the strategy in additional animal models.
At least 11 companies have IL-6 antibodies or inhibitors in Phase III or earlier testing.
AstraZeneca plc and Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. have AZD9150, an antisense inhibitor of STAT3, in Phase II trials to treat cancer.
At least five other companies have STAT3 inhibitors in Phase I testing or earlier to treat cancers.
AstraZeneca markets Casodex to treat prostate cancer.

SciBX 6(47); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.1346
Published online Dec. 12, 2013

Patent and licensing status unavailable

Schroeder, A. et al. Cancer Res.; published online Oct. 31, 2013;
Contact: Anne Schroeder, Beckman Research Institute at City of Hope, Duarte, Calif.

Contact: Richard Jove, same affiliation as above

Contact: Gehard Mueller-Newen, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany