TAT 2018: Metabolic Targets

Speaker: Brian Van Tine

Brian Van Tine says that one of the neat focuses of the TAT 2018 Congress besides of the new immunotherapy approaches is discussion about tumour metabolism and drugs that would affect the utilisation of either glucose or glutamine or something in between.

He reports about four presentations from the Metabolic targets session.

D. Cahill focused on an IDH inhibitor in brain tumours and chondrosarcoma. It involves an enzyme that cause metabolites moves around the mitochondria. When this enzyme is mutated, it makes what we call an oncometabolite which may enable cancer to occur. There's been a number of drugs developed especially one from angiogenic switch that has been moving forward and we are learning how to put it into the correct context.

B. Van Tine presentation was on arginine biology and how we can utilize it to actually control where glucose or glutamine goes in a cell, so we're able to make other drugs work better. There is a trial that's being launched at Washington University on arginine DNA switch as an arginine destruction enzyme given with gemcitabine and docetaxel.

J. Powell studies glutamine derivatives and presented a new drug that seems to actually alter the immune response so that metabolism could be used to alter immunobiology.

Finally there was a very interesting presentation from G. Villa looking at brain tumours and cholesterol metabolism. Researchers may have identified a whole new therapeutic avenue from which we could build new therapies.

In the near future, there's already four drugs that are moving their way through phase I to phase III clinical trials. According to Dr Van Tine, we're going to begin to use these new drugs that are all based on metabolism and biomarkers in patients who don't respond to immunotherapy.

The overall message that came out of the TAT 2018 Congress in term of tumour metabolism is that we're still learning how drugging of IDH metabolism and arginine biology may give a new wave of therapies that could help to actually control the tumours growth.