Groundbreaking targeted therapy based on a specific genetic change in a tumor, regardless of where in the body the tumor originated.

A total of more than 1.7 million new cancer cases and over 600,000 deaths from cancer are projected to occur in the US in 2018. Whereas early-stage cancer is well managed using a combination of surgical resection and radiation therapy, disseminated stage III/IV cancer has an overall poor prognosis (Table 1).

As a result, over 90% of cancer patients who succumb to adenocarcinoma are victims of disseminated/metastatic cancer.

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TransCode’s therapeutic approach targets metastatic cancer.

Metastatic tumors are tumors that have spread to other parts of the body. Transcode’s therapeutic provides an alternative to patients who have no other treatment options or whose cancers have progressed following other treatments. These include patients with some of the most common tumor types:

  • breast cancer
  • prostate cancer
  • lung cancer
  • colon and rectum cancer
  • melanoma of the skin
  • esophageal cancer
  • pancreatic cancer
  • thyroid cancer
  • liver cancer
  • ovarian cancer

TransCode Therapeutics’ initial treatment focus will be to implement targeted therapy against metastatic cancers that express high levels of microRNA-10b.

Not all patients with metastatic cancer have high levels of microRNA-10b. However, if they do, their cancer is likely aggressive, meaning that without treatment it will be associated with more advanced metastasis, cancer recurrence, limited disease-free survival and reduced overall survival. For example, in patients with pancreatic cancer, microRNA-10b is highly expressed in 47-67% of patients, as compared to patients without cancer 1,2. In the patients that had high levels of microRNA-10b, 71% had disease recurrence within 3 years and were 13 times more likely to have cancer recurrence than patients with low levels of microRNA-10b 2.

Table 1

1   Ouyang, H., Gore, J., Deitz, S. & Korc, M. microRNA-10b enhances pancreatic cancer cell invasion by suppressing TIP30 expression and promoting EGF and TGF-beta actions. Oncogene 33, 4664-4674, doi:10.1038/onc.2013.405 (2014).
2   Nguyen, H. V. et al. MicroRNA Expression in a Readily Accessible Common Hepatic Artery Lymph Node Predicts Time to Pancreatic Cancer Recurrence Postresection. J Gastrointest Surg 20, 1699-1706, doi:10.1007/s11605-016-3208-x (2016).