Cancer cells grow from cells that are the source of cancer, i.e.; stem cells. Because cancer stem cells are protected in an environment called a cancer niche, conventional treatment with anticancer drugs cannot attack cancer stem cells while they can attack cancer cells. As long as the cancer stem cells remain, they grow into cancer cells and the disease recurs.
RS5614, a PAI-1 inhibitor, which we are currently developing, will drive cancer stem cells out of the cancer niche, allowing them to be attacked by anticancer drugs. Destroying cancer stem cells prevents cancer recurrence.
We are conducting a phase 2b study (investigators initiated clinical trial) to confirm the therapeutic effects and side effects of RS5614 in patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia, one of the blood cancers, in Tohoku University, Tokai University, and Akita University.