Capture Tumor-Derived Exosomes Underlying Several Forms of Cancer

Upwards of 90% of all cancer-related deaths are attributed to metastasis. The spread of cancer from a primary site of origin to other organs or areas of the body. The mechanism of how tumors metastasize to distant sites in the body has long been one of cancer's greatest mysteries. That mystery was recently solved when circulating particles known as tumor-derived exosomes were discovered to be the seeds that promote the spread and growth of cancer metastasis. 

 Aethlon initiated its tumor-derived exosome research at a time when the medical community believed exosomes were merely cellular debris with no biological function. Today, a therapeutic to address tumor-derived exosomes represents a significant unmet need in cancer care. Aethlon has demonstrated that the affinity mechanism of the Hemopurifier® can capture tumor-derived exosomes and exosomal particles underlying several forms of cancer, including breast, ovarian and metastatic melanoma.

Our extended tumor-derived exosome research

Beyond their role in metastasis, researchers have also published mounting evidence that tumor-derived exosomes contribute to tumorigenesis (the formation of cancer), cancer progression, angiogenesis (creation of blood vessels to fuel tumor growth), immune evasion, and resistance to radiation and chemotherapeutic drugs. Recent discoveries also reveal that exosomes may contribute to bacterial and viral pathogenesis, the progression of Alzheimer and Parkinson’s diseases, the spread of prion proteins, and numerous inflammatory conditions. 

Status of clinical studies

Due to lack of patient enrollment by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) in our head and neck cancer safety trial, we and UPMC have terminated this study. We are planning a new clinical trial in oncology that will potentially include more tumor types, enabling us to build our safety database in oncology and provide data to help direct the development of our Hemopurifier as a treatment option in oncology. We are currently working with our new contract research organization, or CRO, on preparations to conduct a clinical trial in Australia in patients with solid tumors, including head and neck cancer, gastrointestinal cancers and other cancers.