Cancer research company StageZero Life Sciences (TSX: SZLS) has launched an update to its proprietary care oncology (COC) protocol which uses advanced biomarker testing and an interactive digital health platform to make an enhanced connection between a patient’s metabolic health and cancer outcomes.
Research has shown metabolically-targeted drugs have promise as an adjunctive therapy to make cancer cells more sensitive to chemotherapy, radiation and other standard of care treatments.
By coupling the COC protocol with specific blood biomarker data, StageZero’s clinical team will be able to better evaluate the connection between metabolic status and cancer outcomes.
StageZero chief executive officer James Howard-Tripp said the team would objectively assess the degree of metabolic control being exercised by the protocol and further refine the dosing and treatment over time.
“As we connect outcomes to improved metabolic and inflammatory health, we could change the way cancer is treated,” he said.
“This new protocol is intended to benefit patients, but will also serve as the foundation for METRICS II which is a novel approach to generate additional clinical data of sufficient quality to support changes in clinical practice.”
The METRICS study was conducted by UK-based Care Oncology Clinic between 2013 and 2016 using a perspective analysis comprising 95 patients with a biopsy-confirmed Glioblastoma IV brain tumor (GBM).
Patients could be enrolled into the adjunctive COC protocol at any time from presentation of the GBM or at any future point if deemed eligible to receive treatment by the consulting COC oncologist.
All patients continued to receive their standard of care therapy (either surgery, radiation or chemotherapy) and follow up.
The study found that patients receiving the adjunctive COC protocol had a median overall survival of 26.3 months and a two-year survival of 55.8%.
Comparative data from Public Health England showed patients who received standard of care therapy alone had a median overall survival of 14.8 months and a two-year survival of 28.7%.
Meanwhile, data from the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, showed a median overall survival of 15.8 months and a two-year survival of 26.5%.
StageZero and Care Oncology Clinic are in discussions with leading cancer centres in the UK and Canada to expand the original METRICS study using new tools available in the next generation COC protocol.
Root cause of cancer
Existing cancer treatments are designed to target infected cells and not the root causes of the disease, which include metabolic dysfunction and chronic inflammation.
Mr Howard-Tripp said paradoxically, some of the treatments used to treat cancer may actually make these issues worse.
COC protocol seeks to measure and track the root causes and other key biomarkers, which if optimised, may improve cancer outcomes.
COC oncologists review blood test results and other patient data and make recommendations to help drive improvements including advice around nutrition, stress, sleep, exercise, as well as the recommendation or prescription of specific medications.