New Chimeric Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Variant Peptides in Combination Therapy of Breast Cancer

(Ref. No. 441-JR)


Despite improvements in early detection of breast cancer, its incidence and mortality rate has not significantly decreased over the past years. The role played by endocrine system in breast cancer was discovered in 1896 and supported the evidence that at least some breast tumors are directly dependent on hormones for their growth. Chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a glycoprotein hormone, typically produced early in pregnancy after implantation and whose upregulation has been observed in various cancer cell types in both males and females. Thus, compositions and methods that attenuate hCG production within cancer microenvironments and ultimately improve patient outcomes are needed.

Summary of the Invention

hCG is a heterodimeric protein composed of two non-covalently linked (α and β) subunits. While the α-subunit is ubiquitous among the other glycoprotein families, the β-subunit is limited to hCG. In particular, overexpression and secretion of β-subunit in various cancer cell types has been observed independent of α-subunit gene expression. Researchers from Fox Chase Cancer Center designed and tested novel chimeric peptides based on cys-knot fragments of hCG for treatment of breast cancer. These chimeric peptides can be successfully combined with regimens for preventive or therapeutic breast cancer treatment. The tested combinations include Tamoxifen and compositions with histone de-acetylase inhibitors and antimethylation agents. Thereby, attenuation of hCG in combination with chemotherapy can ultimately improve patient outcomes.

Patent and Publication Status: Patent pending.

For Partnering/Licensing information, please contact:
Inna Khartchenko, MS, MBA
Director, Technology Transfer and New Ventures
[email protected]