Toronto, Ontario – November 12, 2014 Theralase Technologies Inc. (“Theralase”) (TSXV: TLT) (TLTFF: OTCBB) announced today that in new preclinical research, conducted at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network (“UHN”), that it has further validated its Photo Dynamic Compound’s (“PDCs”) ability to destroy a primary host tumour and even more importantly render the animal immune to a repeated exposure of the same cancer.
In research conducted at UHN in March 2012, mice were injected with 350,000 colon cancer cells (mouse cell line CT26.CL25) to produce cancerous tumours that were allowed to grow to approximately five millimeters in size. These tumours were treated with an injection of one of Theralase’s lead PDCs and then illuminated by Near Infrared (“NIR”) light to activate the PDC. The vast majority of tumours were completely destroyed. These mice were closely monitored for 20 months post treatment, until November 2013, where they remained cancer free.
In research conducted at UHN in May 2014, mice were again treated according to the March 2012 protocol and the mice who received the initial, successful Photo Dynamic Therapy (“PDT”) were re-injected with an equal number of colon cancer cells, 10 to 23 days later. With no further treatment intervention, 60% of the mice did not demonstrate tumour regrowth, while 40% had a small tumour regrowth, which was quickly destroyed. This raises the possibility of a short-term immune-mediated “memory response” that destroys cancer cells, with no further intervention.
In the latest research completed in November 2014, mice were again treated according to the March 2012 protocol and all of the mice who received the initial Photo Dynamic Therapy (“PDT”) were successfully treated and remained cancer free. These mice were then re-injected with an equal number of colon cancer cells 20 days later and with no further treatment intervention none of these mice demonstrated tumour regrowth. This confirms and further validates an ability to destroy the primary tumour and strongly suggests protection of the animal via the immune system leading to a short-term immune-mediated “memory response”.
The initial results in March 2012 and May 2014, have now been further validated by Theralase and UHN scientists this month, with a new set of animals confirming the immune-mediated “memory response”. This anti-cancer memory response suggests a major breakthrough in cancer research and may provide substantial treatment benefit and survival advantage to cancer patients. Technology that is able to rapidly and effectively destroy “patient-specific” cancer cells, prevent their recurrence and provide long lasting protection against local and distant metastasis, offers immense clinical benefit to cancer patients and the facilities that treat their disease.
Dr. Arkady Mandel, Chief Scientific Officer of Theralase stated, “Our primary focus since the initial findings of the PDT memory response in May 2014 has been to further understand and validate this phenomenal effect. Our research program has achieved this mandate by demonstrating that Theralase’s NIR PDT destroys the primary tumour and suggests a short term memory response, even when the animal is further challenged with a new round of cancer cells 20 days later, thus preventing the animal from developing cancer. Our latest research suggests that our original hypothesis that “memory cells”, such as memory T lymphocytes, part of the immune system, may be reprogrammed to “search and destroy” the threat posed by cancer cells. This is a very important step toward our long-term goal of developing an affordable and practical vaccine to prevent cancer recurrence.”
Dr. Lothar Lilge PhD, Senior Scientist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and University Health Network stated that, “We are pleased that we were able to repeat our success from previous research. The ability to destroy the primary tumour and apparently initiate a modification to the immune system to target the cells of the primary tumour beyond the PDT treatment volume is a prerequisite to eradicate micro metastasis and open the opportunity for long term cancer control.”
Dr. Michael Jewett MD, clinician investigator and uro-oncologist at UHN stated, “Theralase continues to make great strides in the refinement of their PDT technology. I remain excited about the possibilities of this discovery. If this research can be replicated in humans and demonstrate the same efficacy that it has in small animals, then the implications are clearly immense. I look forward to commencing clinical validation of this technology in a FDA / Health Canada Phase I / II a bladder cancer clinical trial planned in 2015 to validate its effect in humans.”
Roger Dumoulin-White, President and CEO of Theralase stated that, “Validation and optimization of our PDC technology is required in order to provide the scientific rigour required to advance this technology to human clinical trials. I am delighted that our scientific and preclinical research teams continue to further understand and validate this effect to allow us to prepare for clinical validation in human patients. If we are able to validate the effect in humans, then the implications of this discovery are nothing short of game changing for both Theralase and more importantly for cancer patients.”
About Theralase Technologies Inc.
Founded in 1994, Theralase Technologies Inc. (“Theralase®”) (TSXV: TLT) (TLTFF: OTC Link®) designs, manufactures and markets patented super-pulsed laser technology used for the elimination of pain, reduction of inflammation and dramatic acceleration of tissue healing. Theralase has sold over 1,200 systems to licensed healthcare practitioners such as: medical doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists and athletic therapists. Theralase has been very successful in healing nerve, muscle and joint conditions in clinical practice and now Theralase’s scientists and clinicians are investigating the application of its lasers in the destruction of cancer using specially designed molecules called Photo Dynamic Compounds (“PDCs”), which localize to the DNA of cancer cells and when light activated, destroy the cancer cells.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, which reflect the Company’s current expectations regarding future events. The forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those projected herein. The Company disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
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