Cancer Stem Cells Are the Target of this French Cancer Therapy

Genoscience Pharma will start human testing of a cancer therapy against cancer stem cells, which are considered to be responsible for treatment resistance.

Located in Marseille, France, Genoscience Pharma is after a new target with potential to fight cancer’s ability to mutate and resist treatment. Cancer stem cells are a minority within a tumor, but they are thought to be the ones responsible for tumor growth after treatment. In spite of their role in cancer relapse, most current chemotherapies are not effective against these particular cells.

The FDA has cleared Genoscience to start a Phase Ib/IIa clinical trial with a therapy that aims to kill treatment-resistant cancer stem cells. The drug candidate, GNS561, is a solute carrier transporter (SLCT) — a group of proteins involved in transporting molecules across the cell’s membrane. Genoscience believes it has potential to reduce the frequency of relapse when combined with chemo.

The company will soon start this first clinical trial with GNS561 in up to 36 patients with advanced hepatocarcinoma (HCC), the most common form of liver cancer — 90% of the total worldwide. If everything goes well, the company is considering to test it in other solid tumors in which cancer stem cells have been observed.

Image via Mopic /Shutterstock 

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