Promising Treatment for Colorectal Cancer Liver Metastases

A new study funded by Australian Rotary Health has found an agent that could potentially be used to treat bowel cancer patients who have had the tumour spread to their liver.

The liver is the most common site for colorectal cancer metastases, which occurs in more than 50% of all bowel cancer patients.

Currently, liver resection supported with chemotherapy is the only treatment available to help patients with liver metastases. In many cases, once a patient receives this diagnosis, the new tumour cannot be surgically removed. Other problems that may arise include liver failure following surgery and cancer recurrence.

Dr Georgios Kastrappis was supported by an Australian Rotary Health/Rotary District 9675 Funding Partner PhD Scholarship in 2019 for the final year of his PhD to explore treatments to inhibit tumour recurrence following resection of colorectal liver metastases.

In a new article published in the Cancers journal, Dr Kastrappis and a team of researchers at the University of Melbourne explored the use of a selective VEGFR-3 tyrosine kinase inhibitor called SAR131675 as a potential treatment.

“SAR131675 manipulates the immune system to create an unfavourable tumour environment unlike chemotherapy which attacks every dividing cell in the body,” Dr Kastrappis said.

The study found that SAR131675 dramatically reduced tumour growth and inflammation in the liver.

“Our study demonstrates that the VEGFR3 specific inhibitor SAR131675 is effective and well tolerated by the animals,” Dr Kastrappis said.

“The results also suggest that VEGFR3 specific inhibition may be used in combination with other treatments including tumour resection and/or immunotherapies and may be a suitable treatment for colorectal cancer liver metastasis patients following resection.”

Dr Kastrappis says further studies are needed to investigate what effects SAR131675 has on a regenerating liver and determine if it can be used on patients that are undergoing liver resection surgery.

“SAR131675 could be used post operatively to reduce the growth rate of tumour and reduce recurrence rates,” he said.

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in men and second in women, accounting for 9.7% of all cancers worldwide.

“Cancer affects many people in our society without a cure. There are many questions that still need to be answered before a cure is found,” Dr Kastrappis said.

Read the full article here.


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First published 14th July, 2022

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