Laurantis Pharma, a privately held biotechnology company based in Finland, today announced that LymfactinTM, adenoviral VEGF-C growth factor therapy, was successful in rebuilding lymphatic vessels in pre-clinical animal models. The use of VEGF-C growth therapy to regenerate lymphatic vessels over time may be used to assist lymph node transfer surgery as a technique to treat secondary lymphedema.
The results were presented at the 23rd International Congress of Lymphology in Malmö, Sweden by Kari Alitalo, MD, PhD, Academy Professor, Molecular Cancer Biology Program Biomedicum Helsinki, University of Helsinki, and Anne Saaristo, MD, PhD, Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Turku University Central Hospital, Turku, Finland. The researchers were able to demonstrate VEGF-C's ability to induce the spontaneous growth of lymphatic vessels during the first two weeks of treatment, which then stabilized and matured over the course of the next six months.
The ability of VEGF-C to regulate the growth of lymphatic vessels presents an advantage for the use of lymph node transfer as a way of treating lymphedema. Currently lymph node transfer is being tested as a way to rebuild the lymphatic vascular anatomy but no treatment currently helps to assist the spontaneous growth of lymphatic vessels.
"Breast cancer patients have an urgent need for better treatments for lymphedma," said Dr. Saaristo. "With Lymfactin, we see the potential to increase the impact of the operation and reduce the amount of lymphoid tissue that needs to be removed from other parts of the body. Ideally Lymfactin will result in more durable lymph node transplants, reducing the need for painful pressure bandages."