Benefits

  • Targeted therapy for cancer.
  • Prevents cancer progression.
  • Targets underlying mechanism that could benefit multiple cancers.

Background

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in Australia and its incidence will likely continue to rise with the ageing population.

Cancer progression requires access to the blood supply for oxygen and nutrients. Highly vascularised tumours correlate directly with poor prognosis. Tumour vascularisation can occur via a number of processes including the proliferation of existing blood vessel endothelial cells (ECs), or an EC-independent manner known as vasculogenic mimicry (VM). UniSA researchers have discovered that the growth factor interleukin (IL-3) is highly expressed in the most invasive and aggressive breast cancers.

Furthermore, preliminary evidence shows that IL-3 is the single common denominator underpinning angiogenesis and VM in breast cancer vascularisation. Lowering the expression levels of IL-3 or preventing its function could therefore help prevent the progression of cancers.

Technology

UniSA researchers have developed a monoclonal antibody which blocks IL-3 receptor (IL-3R) function. It has the potential to prevent VM and attenuate aggressive human breast cancer progression.

Potential Markets

Biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies operating in the cancer therapeutics area.

IP Status

International PCT Application Number: PCT/AU2015/000720. US 15/753614 granted.

Australian patent pending.