A formulation of pancreatic pro-enzymes provides potent anti-tumour efficacy: a pilot study focused on pancreatic and ovarian cancer

Abstract

Proteolytic enzymes have shown efficacy in cancer therapy. We present a combination of the two pro-enzymes Trypsinogen and Chymotrypsinogen A with potent in vitro and in vivo anti-tumour efficacy. A synergetic anti-tumour effect for Trypsinogen and Chymotrypsinogen A was determined at a ratio 1:6 (named PRP) using 24 human cancer cell lines. The antiangiogenic effect of PRP was analysed by matrigel-based tube formation and by fibrous capsule formation assays. Furthermore, cell invasion and wound healing assays together with qRT-PCR determination of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers were performed on human cancer cells treated with PRP. Additionally, in vivo pharmacokinetic studies were implemented and the PRP’s anti-tumour efficacy was explored against orthotopic pancreatic and ovarian cancer tumours. PRP formulation was proven to inhibit in vitro angiogenesis, tumour growth, cancer cell migration and invasiveness; and to be an effective and well tolerated in vivo anti-tumour treatment. Finally, the clinical efficacy of a suppository formulation containing both pancreatic pro-enzymes in the context of a UK Pharmaceuticals Special Scheme was evaluated in advanced cancer patients. Consequently, PRP could have relevant oncological clinical applications for the treatment of advanced or metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma and advanced epithelial ovarian cancer.

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