Hubei Soundny Biotechnology, a leading biotechnology company dedicated to developing cancer treatments, has announced the publication of its latest findings on cholangiocarcinoma in Nature Biomedical Engineering, a Nature publication.
The research highlights a drug-loaded microvesicles tumor therapy for cholangiocarcinoma, approved for clinical use which has shown significant efficacy and safety in the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma.
Data shows that the United States sees about 10,000 new cholangiocarcinoma cases annually, while the incidence rate in Asia is about 3 in 10,000. China is one of the countries with the highest incidence rate of cholangiocarcinoma in the world.
“Despite this high incidence rate, there’s still no standardized treatment plan in place for cholangiocarcinoma”, said Zhang Hui, Co-author of the article and a Director at Nankai Hospital. “Experts prioritize surgical excision in the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma. However, this is not beneficial as the early symptoms can be hard to spot, which means most patients tend to go to the doctors during the middle or late stages of cancer development. Only 20% of these patients will have the opportunity for radical surgery. This discovery offers the other 80% some hope in fighting the disease,” he added.
Patients with middle or late-stage onset of cholangiocarcinoma often have difficulty in finding a suitable treatment. Particularly as the anatomical spot and “shell” of the tumor tissue makes treatment difficult. Furthermore, radiotherapy and chemotherapy have been seen to be less effective in patients in the later stages of the disease.
A Drug-based Breakthrough in the Fight Against Cancer
Since 2015, Soundny has cooperated with Nankai hospital on clinical trials of drug-loaded vesicles for the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma as an alternative to radio and chemotherapy. A total of 20 patients with late-stage hilar cholangiocarcinoma were introduced and enrolled in the program. The survival time of patients at this stage of the diseases generally falls between three to six months.
The results of the study showed that around 30% of the patients entered partial remission of biliary obstruction. Approximately 50% of the patients had reduced symptoms of jaundice with improved liver function after the first treatment. The color of stool samples also changed from terracotta to standard yellow, with an extended survival period of up to 21 months.
In terms of safety, there was no significant change found in routine blood, liver and kidney tests, and no other symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, were recorded.
Professor Wang said that the medicated vesicle treatment for cholangiocarcinoma had “marked a breakthrough and is expected to become a first-line treatment plan for the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma,” he said.
The findings, co-published by Professor Ximo Wang and his research team at Tianjin Medical University and Soundny, titled “Methotrexate-loaded tumour-cell-derived microvesicles can relieve biliary obstruction in patients with extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma” is to appear in the 11pm on July 6th, 2020, issue of Nature Biomedical Engineering.