Adding to the numerous health benefits of honey bee propolis, recent studies have shown that ingredients found in propolis have anticancer properties. Such properties have been particularly successful at treating two of the most fatal brain cancers: Glioblastoma and melanoma metastasized to the brain.
In the ongoing challenge to combat these two brain cancers, the pharmaceutical company Moleculin Biotech, Inc., (Nasdaq: MBRX) has initiated a Phase 1 clinical trial of a new first-in-class cancer drug candidate, a small molecule compound discovered by Prof. Waldemar Priebe at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and known as WP1066.
The compound has been shown in animal models to both inhibit an important cell signalling protein STAT3, that is involved in cell growth and proliferation and considered critical to tumor development, while also stimulating an immune response. The first glioblastoma patient has received the initial doses of WP1066, which were well tolerated, in the physician-sponsored IND (investigational new drug) study at MD Anderson Cancer CenteR.
Built from the chemical backbone of the active ingredient in propolis, a natural product of honey bees, WP1066 is the first anticancer agent with drug-like properties that consistently inhibits the activated form of STAT3 within cancer cells, a target that has been long-sought because of its broad range of tumor promoting effects.
Importantly, activated STAT3 supports the survival and proliferation of tumor cells, evasion of the immune response and metastasis to distant organs, as well as angiogenesis (growth of blood vessels) essential for tumor growth. Activated STAT3 is not only connected with directly supporting tumour activity, but also suppressing the immune system, making this target even more important to cancer therapy. WP1066 is a small molecule compound that can not only directly kill tumor cells, but also has the ability to overcome the tumor’s ability to evade the natural immune response, which would otherwise be working to eliminate the cancerous activity.
Research is summarized by NRGY Honey. NRGY Honey do not own the rights to the research. Source: HOUSTON, Sept. 13, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE)