an antibody capable of advancing the progression of tumors

According to the first results of a clinical trial, the MCLA-158 antibody manages to prevent the spread of cancer and metastasis.

This is a major discovery in the treatment of cancer. In Spain, researchers at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Institute have developed the MCLA-158 antibody. It is the first drug candidate directed against cancer stem cells in solid tumors that prevents the spread of cancer and metastasis.

This first trial was conducted on mice in collaboration with the Dutch company Merus NV, the conclusions have been published in the journal Natural Cancer. According to this study, this antibody would have made it possible to block the spread of cancer to other organs. It also helps slow the growth of primary tumors in mice implanted with tumor cells from the colon of cancer patients. “We started cancer stem cell research 15 years ago. The path to get here has been exciting, but also very complex, requiring a significant investment of resources and the efforts of many researchers. The medicine of the future starts herei”, welcomed Eduard Batlle, researcher at IRB Barcelona.

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Reduce the risk of metastasis

And the results are promising, as the Spanish institute explains: “In mice treated with this antibody against cancer stem cells, metastases do not appear“. Before adding: “Removing tumor stem cells can increase the effectiveness of treatments and reduce the risk of metastasis“. Precisely, this antibody recognizes two different proteins on cancer stem cells: those that promote the uncontrolled growth of cancer and those responsible for its spread.

In this clinical trial conducted on real patients, three of seven patients achieved partial remissions, one of which achieved complete remission, while all seven patients had tumor shrinkage. In this specific case, the antibody was tested for cancers of the colon, head and neck, esophagus and stomach. “This antibody does not interfere with the functioning of healthy stem cells in the body, which are essential for the proper functioning of tissues“, reassures Eduard Batlle. Other types of tumors could benefit from it in the future.

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