UCSD evaluates safety and tolerability of dexanabinol in Phase I brain cancer study

Researchers at University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center are evaluating the safety and tolerability of a synthetic cannabinoid called dexanabinol (ETS2101). Delivered as a weekly intravenous infusion, the drug is being tested in patients with all forms of brain cancer, both primary and metastatic.

"In this Phase I study, we are examining the safety of multiple doses of dexanabinol, extent of penetration into the brain, and suitability for future trials," said Santosh Kesari, MD, PhD, principal investigator, and director of neuro-oncology, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. "What we hope to determine is the safe and optimal dose of drug in the brain."

Dexanabinol is a cannabinoid derivative that causes no psychotropic effects. It was tested previously as a neuroprotective in patients with traumatic brain injury. During these trials the drug was found to cross the blood-brain barrier. More recently, researchers at e-Therapeutics, the trial sponsor, showed that dexanabinol kills cultured cancer cells derived from many tumor types. Additional research in Kesari's lab demonstrated the drug's anti-cancer effects in patient-derived brain cancer cell lines.

Dexanabinol's potential in fighting cancer was identified through a new approach to drug discovery called network pharmacology, a way to analyze the network of proteins underlying a disease process. Network pharmacology enables scientists to seek drugs from among existing compounds, or design new molecules, that act simultaneously on a number of individual proteins to disrupt the cancer-susceptible network.

Kesari added that this trial fits well with a broader national effort to re-purpose existing drugs for the treatment of cancer. He asked, "Why not use drugs that are currently available and learn how they can be applied in new effective ways for different indications?"

Dexanabinol is thought to act on proteins including NFĸB, TNFα, COX-2 HAT, FAT and cyclin-dependent kinases. The trial at UCSD Moores Cancer Center is one of two ongoing Phase I studies with dexanabinol, and the first to evaluate the drug in cancer patients.

"In time, we will explore the association between the molecular phenotype of the tumor and the patient's response, which may allow us to personalize future therapies," said Kesari, associate professor, Department of Neurosciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

Patients who are eligible for this trial must have failed prior therapy including surgical resection, radiation therapy and systemic therapy.

Source: University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
Post

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Innovative blood test boosts accuracy of lung cancer screening