Molecules and Methods for the Treatment and Detection of Cancer
Introduction Approximately 30,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer yearly in the United States, and only about 50% of those diagnosed will survive the disease. Early, accurate prognosis of ovarian cancer is closely related to stage of the disease at diagnosis. It is estimated that about 106,000 people are diagnosed every year with colon cancer in the United States alone, and about 55,000 people die annually from this disease. Over 200,000 women are newly diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States, and about 40,000 women die from the disease. Insulin like growth factors are important regulators of cell division and differentiation. IGF receptors form a complex with specific binding proteins, such as IGFBP-2. IGFBPs are involved in the induction, progression and are over-expressed in different malignancies, including breast, ovarian, and colon cancers. Increased levels of IGFBP-2 are also associated with the change from estrogen dependence to independence in breast carcinomas. Technology description The inventors have discovered epitopes for IGFBP-2 that are highly immunogenic and are predicted to contribute to the development of a vaccine. The present invention also utilizes antigen-specific IgG immunity, resulting from an immunogenic response to IGFBP-2, for the development of a diagnostic for ovarian, breast and colon cancer. Business opportunity The Cancer Diagnostics market is expected to reach $7 billion by 2009 and the Cancer Vaccine market is expected to be about $4.3 billion worldwide by 2010. The current is model is for the surgical and cytotoxic treatment of cancer. As the synergies between diagnostics and therapeutics emerge, the demand for better diagnostics will grow. If the cancer can be detected at an early stage and a robust immune response can be elicited, then it is possible for the cancer to be eradicated more quickly. Molecular targeting with cancer vaccines will be a powerful tool for the treatment of various cancers. It is anticipated that this will be significant method to treat diseased patients, either alone, or in combination with other therapies. Further, it is expected that new therapeutics will be more cancer and patient specific, resulting in fewer adverse effects and decrease in cancer progression. Intellectual property position The UW has applied for US patent rights.
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