Cachexia, an indicator of advanced stages of diseases, is a debilitating disorder leading to a loss of appetite, multi-organ failure, and lean body mass. The National Cancer Institute has estimated nearly one-third deaths caused by cancer to be attributed to the wasting syndrome – Cachexia. Researchers from the University of Missouri have developed a drug, in collaboration with Tensive Controls, Inc., which could be capable of reversing cachexia. These researchers are now seeking canine candidates for pilot study, in order to test this new drug.
Drug Trial Aims to Improve & Extend the Life Quality of Patients with Cachexia
This drug trial aims to improve and extend the quality of people’s life, who are affected by cachexia, according to Sandra Bechtel, an associate medical oncology professor at the MU Veterinary Health Center. Bechtel is the principal investigator for this new drug’s clinical trial. The clinical trial will target the disease, which decreases the quality of life significantly. The researchers are working on improving the end-stage life quality for their veterinary patients, and they are hoping to translate improvements to human patients. Cachexia results from inflammatory cytokines, and small proteins that affect the cell behavior around them when released. The body of patients becomes hyperactive owing to certain cytokines present in the brain, further resulting into decreased appetite, and thereby weight loss.
Gruber and His Team has Developed a Drug Capable of Crossing the Blood Brain Barrier
The MU Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center’s principal investigator, and founder & president of Tensive Controls, Inc., Kenneth A. Gruber, along with his team developed a drug capable of crossing the blood brain barrier. This is a protective barrier, which typically prevents microbes, toxins, or drugs from entering the brain. It also inhibits the overstimulation of melanocortin system. This drug is being administered by a subcutaneous injection. The trail’s preliminary results have been promising, stated Gruber. He also stated that 3 dogs that received the drug therapy have regained approximately 7.5% of their body weight over a 28-day trail. In addition, dogs that consumed the drug for longer time periods have shown significant improvements.
The clinical trial is being undertaken at the MU Small Animal Hospital, being the first ever site for offering the drug to patients as a part of clinical trial. Within the next couple of years, if additional results prove to be successful, officials from Tensive Controls, Inc., and MU will request the authority from federal government for beginning the drug development for humans. As soon as this status is approved, researchers might conduct clinical trials by enrolling humans, in a bid to develop new treatments for patients with cachexia.