The Chrysalis Solution to Mitigate Radiation Therapy-Induced Tissue Damage
Prescriptive Use To Mitigate Radiotherapy Damage To Normal Tissue and Allow More Effective Cancer Therapy
Almost 70% of all patients with cancer receive radiotherapy alone or in combination with surgery or chemotherapy. The amount of radiation that can be used to control tumor growth, however, is limited by normal tissue damage. Development of drugs to selectively reduce radiotherapy-induced normal tissue damage may also help eliminate tumors by allowing greater more aggressive radiotherapy protocols.
TP508 has the potential to mitigate radiation therapy-induced damage to cells in a number of different tissues. For example, studies evaluating effects of TP508 have demonstrated prevention of intestinal and colon crypt cells to prevent radiation-induced mucosal breakdown.
In spite of the potential effective use of TP508 to protect normal tissue and mitigate side effects of radiation therapy in a number of tissues, Chrysalis is initially focusing on radiation effects on brain tissue where damage has especially devastating effects, especially in children. Radiotherapy treatment of brain tumors often leads to long-term or permanent damage to neural stem cells located in the hippocampus thereby causing diminished neurological function, seizures, and loss of short-term memory and cognitive functions. More than 90% of surviving children below the age of seven who received radiation therapy require special education. In addition, adults also show progressive cognitive dysfunction with dementia occurring in up to 12% of these patients.
Chrysalis studies funded by the National Cancer Institute have demonstrated that TP508 protects normal brain tissue including neural progenitor cells from radiotherapy and promotes recovery of hippocampal neurons that are involved in cognitive learning without affecting radiotherapy killing of tumors. TP508 may therefore, represent a first-in-class drug to be used in combination with brain cancer radiation therapy to prevent long-term neuronal dysfunction. If successfully developed, this drug may significantly change cancer therapy protocols to more effectively eradicate tumor cells, increase cancer patient survival, and increase post-therapy quality of life.