ARFOLITIXORIN – A NEW DRUG CANDIDATE FOR COLORECTAL CANCER
The drug arfolitixorin, in combination with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), one of the world’s most widely used cancer drugs, will meet the great medical need in advanced colorectal cancer, mCRC.
Arfolitixorin is a folate-based drug that, in combination with the cytostatic 5-FU, enhances the tumour-killing effect on cancer cells in a tumour. Arfolitixorin is made up of [6R]-MTHF, the active substance in the current folate-based prodrug, (leucovorin/levoleucovorin). Unlike Arfolitixorin, this must be converted in the body to the active form of [6R]-MTHF, and depending on, for example, genetic predispositions, this activation is not triggered in all patients. Despite combination therapy involving several drugs, fewer than half of patients with mCRC respond to treatment. An academic research team that has been collaborating with Isofol since its inception has conducted several genetic studies on patients with mCRC who have been treated at Östra Hospital in Gothenburg. The studies have shown that approximately three quarters of these patients have an insufficient ability to convert leucovorin and levoleucovorin, which has resulted in a significantly lower PFS (progression-free survival) compared to patients with a good ability to convert.
Arfolitixorin treatment increases treatment effect
When arfolitixorin is co-administered with 5-FU in the treatment of colorectal cancer, the tumour-killing effect is enhanced and more cancer cells die. Read about the mechanisms on page 9. Arfolitixorin can potentially benefit all patients, since arfolitixorin does not require metabolic activation to impart its effect.
5-FU, a well-established cytostatic
5-FU is a well-tested cytostatic drug that has been used to treat malign tumours since the 1960s and is the basis of the standard treatment for colorectal cancer. It is administered to more than 70 percent of patients with mCRC (read more about the disease on pages 15-17). The current 5-FU-based cytostatic treatment is given in combination with leucovorin/levoleucovorin and other cytostatics, e.g. oxaliplatin or irinotecan and biological drugs such as Avastin® (bevacizumab) and Erbitux® (cetuximab). These combinations have been administered since 2004 and are variants of the current standard treatment.