Chrysalis BioTherapeutics has announced receipt of a $1.5 million contract from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to continue its development of Chrysalin to mitigate radiotherapy-induced damage to normal brain tissue.
Radiotherapy is a primary tool for controlling tumor growth, yet damage to surrounding normal tissues limit the amount of radiation that can be used to kill tumors. Moreover, side-effects of radiotherapy can have long lasting effects on patients, especially in the brain where radiation can affect learning, memory and physical functions.
According to SEER Cancer Statics, nearly one in 161 people will be diagnosed with brain or nervous system cancer during their lifetime. Finding ways to mitigate damage from radiotherapy or restore neural function following radiotherapy may allow more effective cancer treatment to increase survival and improve quality-of-life for survivors.
This project is a collaboration between Chrysalis BioTherapeutics, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). Preclinical results indicate Chrysalin treatment restores radiation-damaged neural integrity and promotes neurogenesis in the hippocampus.
Chrysalin is a naturally occurring regenerative peptide being developed by Chrysalis BioTherapeutics under worldwide license from UTMB to mitigate effects of nuclear radiation and radiotherapy.
"These effects of Chrysalin may be very important," said Dr. Mostafa Waleed Gaber, associate professor at Baylor College of Medicine and co-director of the Small Animal Imaging Facility at Texas Children's Hospital, "especially in children where successful radiotherapy treatment of brain tumors may have life-long effects on cognitive function."