Ovarian cancer and colorectal cancer
Project from 2020 Allocated sum in discussion
Commonly, so-called “solid” cancerous tumours are surgically removed. This operation is followed by treatment with chemotherapy(s) and/or radiotherapy in order to eliminate any residual cancer cells.
However, these first-line treatments do not always succeed in eliminating all the malignant cells, particularly because they may develop resistance and/or have already migrated to other organs. The risk of relapse and seeing the cancer spread again is then a real danger for the patient.
Incidence and mortality
In the case of ovarian cancer, there are more than 67,000 new cases each year in Europe. Even today, more than 44,500 women still die from it every year in Europe.
Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer and affects more men than women. Every year in Europe, almost 500 000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer and it is the cause of more than 242 000 deaths.
(* source: Globocan 2018)
The hope of immunotherapy
Faced with these challenges, immunotherapy is raising new hopes, and the project led by Apmonia Therapeutics in particular.
During their anarchic proliferation, cancer cells produce various receptors on their surface which will emit signals to divert the immune system, put it to sleep, hide from it or make it believe that they are healthy cells in the body.
One of these receptors, called CD47, has the ability to make the malignant cell “invisible” to the immune system. These receptors act as a cloak of invisibility that allows cancer cells to continue to grow without being detected by our immune system.
The immunotherapeutic treatment in question (named TAX2) conceived and under development by Apmonia Therapeutics, targets the TSP-1 protein that activates these CD47 “receptor-hiders” expressed by the cancer cells.
Assaulting the cloak of invisibility
Thanks to this treatment, the patients’ white blood cells will be able to unmask the harmful cells hiding under this cloak of invisibility and attack them in order to destroy them.
The TSP-1 protein plays a particularly important role in ovarian and colorectal cancers. If, as we expect, the drug candidate developed by Apmonia Therapeutics successfully passes the next stages of regulatory and clinical development, patients suffering from these types of cancers could be the first to benefit from this innovative technological approach.
Karine and Henry
Especially for patients affected by ovarian or colorectal cancer, the immunotherapy developed by Apmonia Therapeutics represents real hope. In order to personify the very many women concerned, we have chosen to call them “Karine”. And for the men: “Henry”.
For all the “Karine” and all the “Henry”, the Foundation has chosen to support a large part of this promising project, by providing 375,000 EUR needed to reach a key stage in the development of this future treatment.
This is the amount we are seeking to raise from the Venture Philanthropists that you are or will soon be. Help us beat cancer.