Durham, NC (PRWEB) March 03, 2014
Immunolight LLC, an emerging leader in the development of a breakthrough platform technology leveraging the latest advances in energy transfer, has announced research about a new mode of action utilizing psoralen, a naturally occurring compound found in broccoli and figs, that may shed new light on the fight against cancer.
For decades, psoralen has been used to treat skin disorders, cancer and autoimmune disease. The compound is inert until activated by UV light, after which it has been shown to interfere with the DNA of a cell and prevent it from replicating.
As part of a broad research collaboration with Duke University, researchers have recently discovered a new mode of action utilizing psoralen. Reporting in the February 14th publication of PLOS ONE, they demonstrated psoralen was shown to block the signaling of the HER2 receptor, a cellular element that is over produced in certain breast, gastric and other types of cancer. When HER2 is overproduced it causes uncontrolled tumor growth. Activating psoralen in these cells stops the uncontrolled growth of the tumor.
"Immunolight's platform technology of converting penetrating forms of energy, such as low dose X-Ray, into energies that are capable of activating the drug inside the body, offers new possibilities into the approach to treating cancer,” said Harold Walder, President of Immunolight, the company that funded the research at Duke.
In addition, conventional cancer treatments against HER2 based tumors are only effective when the drug sees the HER2 receptor on the cell surface. There is also a smaller, truncated HER2 protein inside the cell, undetectable by conventional therapies which psoralen was found to target.
"We are excited by the paradigm shift our technology represents," said Walder. "The activation of psoralen has previously been shown to have remarkable effects in cancer and autoimmune disease, but until now has been limited to conditions where UV light can shine directly on the cell, as UV light is incapable of penetrating tissue. Until now, typical treatments using psoralen have been skin disorders such as psoriasis, or rare cancers of the blood where the blood is removed from the patient, exposed to psoralen and UV light and re-infused back to the patient."
While there is a well-established history of psoralen’s ability to act on DNA to prevent cancer cell replication, the newly discovered psoralen mechanism of action to kill cancer cells that overexpress the HER2 receptor, including treatment resistant HER2 cancer cells, coupled with Immunolight’s non-invasive technology to deliver drug-activating light inside organs and into the cells, open up new possibilities for targeted therapies to treat cancer.
"We have enjoyed a highly productive collaboration with the scientists at Duke and are encouraged by the effects we have seen in cells and in preliminary animal studies," Walder said. "We look forward to moving the technology ahead into patients as a promising new approach to treating solid tumors."
About Immunolight, LLC
Immunolight has developed a breakthrough platform technology that leverages the latest advances in energy transfer to establish high value innovations. The technology is centered on converting energy from one part of the electromagnetic spectrum to another and the application of those energy conversions in far-ranging medical and commercial fields.
This technology enables potential value creation in a wide range of industries spanning medical, pharmaceutical, automotive, aerospace, chemicals, cosmetics and beyond. Examples of such commercially viable applications include no line of sight curing of UV curable adhesives, activation of drugs and bio-therapeutics for cancer or autoimmune disease, assembly of micro-fluidics and MEMs, higher efficiency solar panels, room temperature stacking of semiconductors, assembling of complex composite structures, cosmetics, novel paints and pigments. Founded in 2007, Immunolight is headquartered in Detroit, MI. For more information, visit Immunolight.com.