Cysteine-rich whey protein supplement may maintain or increase weight in advanced NSCLC patients

Immunotec Inc. (TSX-V: IMM) announced today the enrollment of the first patient in the US Cancer trial of IMN 1207 being run at Beaumont Hospital's Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) in Royal Oak, Michigan. The goal of the study is to determine the effect of IMN 1207, a cysteine-rich whey protein supplement, in preventing additional weight loss in patients with stage IV (advanced) non-small cell lung cancer. Patients with cancer often struggle with severe cancer-related weight loss and the associated decline in their general health. This study proposes that the use of IMN 1207 could potentially maintain or increase weight in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The study will compare the use of IMN 1207 with casein, another protein that is derived from milk.

IMN 1207 is an advanced formulation of the proprietary undenatured whey protein isolate, Immunocal((R), a dietary natural health supplement developed by Immunotec and sold in global markets for the past 12 years. Depending on the results of this study, expanded trials evaluating the effect of IMN 1207 may be warranted.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. The majority of the diagnosed lung cancers (85%) are non-small cell lung carcinomas. These cancers have a high risk of weight loss (61%), as do pancreatic and gastric cancers. Disease and/or treatment-related weight loss may trigger a cascade of secondary effects including reduced quality of life, treatment intolerance and infections, as well as decreased survival.

Research studies using various drugs such as megestrol acetate, a steroid hormone, have reported successful weight gain, but it can be associated with potentially serious side effects (such as high blood pressure, blood clots, etc). The alternative use of a nutritional supplement with few side effects would represent a breakthrough.

Data from a previous study conducted by Tozer and colleagues suggested that treatment with IMN 1207 may promote weight gain in patients with lung cancer. For the complete publication, see (Tozer et al. Cysteine-Rich Protein Reverses Weight Loss in Lung Cancer Patients Receiving Chemotherapy or Radiotherapy. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2008 Feb; 10(2): 395-402.).

The study chairs, Shannon Wills, Ph.D., clinical research associate and David Decker, M.D., a medical oncologist at Beaumont Hospitals, are enthusiastic about the prospects of this study; "Cancer-related weight loss not only contributes to a decline in the quality of life and survival of patients with lung cancer, but also causes psychological distress for patients and their families. Research like this is essential to identify better interventions to address cancer-related weight loss and we are pleased to participate in this study."

Source: IMMUNOTEC INC.

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