A recent article published in Medical Express last week touts the impressive findings of a pre-clinical study on the experimental drug EBC-46 (pictured above). In the article, they claim that EBC-46 is able to effectively destroy tumors by destroying the blood vessels that supply it with oxygen and nutrients. It is important, however, to remember that the work they are reporting on is very preliminary and has yet to be shown to be safe or effective in humans. Many promising candidate drugs fail very early on in clinical trials because of an unforeseen side-effect or because the drug simply does not work as well in humans as in animal models.
Furthermore, EBC-46 may be a novel drug, but its target is nothing new. EBC-46 targets a protein called Protein Kinase C (PKC) that, when inhibited, prevents tumor cells from making proteins that help them live. PKC has been targeted by several compounds, with one, PMA getting a phase I clinical trial (safety and efficacy in a limited group of people with cancer). Unfortunately, PMA caused severe and life-threatening side effects and the trial was stopped.
Given the questionable history of PKC inhibitors, it has yet to be seen if EBC-46 will be safe to use in humans.
For the article upon which the press release was based see below:
Intra-Lesional Injection of the Novel PKC Activator EBC-46 Rapidly Ablates Tumors in Mouse Models
Edited by SITN Waves Editor Adam Brown.