Immunex's TRAIL Molecule Shows Potential As Anti-Tumor Agent

February 02, 1999

SEATTLE, WA -- A preclinical study published in the journal Nature Medicine today demonstrated that TRAIL (TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand) suppresses tumor growth, and in some instances caused complete remission of tumors, by a direct and specific mechanism. The work described in the journal was conducted in mice by scientists at Immunex Corporation (NASDAQ:IMNX).

In the study, groups of mice were injected with tumor cells from a human breast cancer, or either of two different colon cancers. Following two weeks of daily injections with TRAIL, complete remission of all tumors was observed in a high proportion (70%-100%) of the treated mice. In contrast, the tumors of the untreated control mice grew progressively. Importantly, because of TRAIL's apparent specificity in targeting tumor cells, normal tissues showed no observable adverse effects.

"TRAIL is the first of a new generation of novel molecules that directly and selectively induce apoptosis of tumor cells and may have potential in the treatment of a wide variety of cancers," said David Lynch, Ph.D., senior staff scientist and senior author of the manuscript. "We are particularly excited by the apparent lack of toxicity shown in mouse studies with TRAIL to date."

Unlike most traditional chemotherapeutics, TRAIL is a naturally occurring immune system protein that is a member of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) family. TRAIL binds to at least four distinct receptors found on many tumor cells and signals these cells to destroy themselves via a process known as apoptosis. Immunex scientists constructed a soluble form of TRAIL that was found to stimulate tumor cell destruction.

"We are very pleased about the results of the study and have promoted TRAIL to a high priority pre-development product," said Doug Williams, senior vice president, discovery research. "We will continue to study TRAIL as an anti-tumor agent in a variety of cancers."

In June of 1998, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued to Immunex a gene patent that covers DNA encoding of TRAIL. Immunex has filed additional patent applications worldwide.

Immunex is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing immune system science to protect human health. The company's products offer hope to patients with cancer, inflammatory and infectious diseases.

American Home Products owns a majority interest in Immunex. AHP is one of the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical and health care products companies. It is a leader in the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications. It is also a global leader in vaccines, biotechnology, agricultural products, and animal health care.

NOTE: This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including risks associated with clinical development, regulatory approvals, product commercialization and other risks described from time to time in the SEC reports filed by Immunex, including the most recently filed Form 10K and 10-Q.
This news release, as well as additional information about Immunex of interest to investors, customers, prospective employees and patients, is available on the Immunex web site at

Immunex Corporation

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to