- Invion’s latest PoC pilot studies using INV043 showed a complete regression of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) and triggered immune response to subsequently prevent TNBC recurrence.
- Hard-to-treat cancer, TNBC has high mortality rates.
- This cancer does not respond to therapies, which use medicines that target HER2 protein receptors or hormonal therapy medicines.
Australian life sciences company Invion Limited (ASX: IVX) recently made compelling progress against the treatment of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), a hard-to-treat cancer that is resistant to most chemotherapies.
The latest Proof-of-Concept (PoC) pilot studies using INV043, the Company’s latest Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient, to treat immunocompetent mice that had been implanted with TNBC showed a complete regression in the tumour. Moreover, the API has been found to trigger an immune response that subsequently led to TNBC recurrence prevention.
With Invion strongly advancing research & development to treat TNBC and range of other cancers, let us explore TNBC in detail to understand its implications and need for effective treatment.
What is TNBC?
A type of cancer, TNBC does not have any receptors- progesterone receptors, estrogen receptors, and excess HER2 protein, commonly found in breast cancers. This reflects that cancer growth is not fuelled by the HER2 protein or by the hormones (progesterone and estrogen). Consequently, TNBC does not respond to targeted therapies, which use hormonal therapy medicines or medicines that target HER2 protein receptors.
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There is a growing interest among doctors and researchers to find new medications that can treat TNBC, which represents about 10-20% of breast cancers.
TNBC is higher grade
Considered more aggressive with prognosis than other breast cancers, TNBC has fewer targeted medicines. Studies have indicated that TNBC has higher chance of spreading beyond the breast and more likely to recur after treatment.
This is why the latest PoC study undertaken by the world-renowned Hudson Institute of Medical Research on INV043 is so exciting. The early results show that Invion’s treatment not only clears the cancer but may stop it from spreading and reoccurring.
TNBC tends to be higher grade compared to other breast cancers. Notably, the higher grade indicates that cancer cells will more likely differ from healthy, normal breast cells in terms of growth patterns and appearance.
Triple negative breast cancer usually is a cell type called “basal-like’, where cells resemble the basal cells lining the breast ducts. Just like TNBC, basal-like cancers tend to be more aggressive and higher-grade cancers.
How is TNBC treated currently?
Often patients with TNBC have to undergo lumpectomy (removal of lump) or mastectomy (removal of the entire breast), followed by chemotherapy treatments, which is to target any cancer cells remaining in the breast or may have spread into other body parts. Sometimes chemotherapy is recommended before surgery to shrink the cancer.
Some common effects of treatment are hair loss, nausea, tiredness, skin changes and building up of lymph fluid under the skin leading to swelling of body parts (Lymphedema).
Invion’s recent development is highly significant given TNBC has high mortality rates and represents one of many cancer types where a strong clinical need exists for alternatives to the current standard of care.
IVX shares traded at AU$ 0.018 on 21 December 2021.