Dr. Van Tine on Arginine Deiminase for Sarcomas

Brian A. Van Tine, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, discusses the use of arginine deiminase (ADI-PEG20) for the treatment of sarcomas.

Brian A. Van Tine, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, discusses the use of arginine deiminase (ADI-PEG20) for the treatment of sarcomas.

Researchers have identified a metabolic defect in the urea cycle, which involves a drug called argininosuccinate synthase 1 (ASS1). Argininosuccinate synthase is methylated off (not expressed), allowing researchers to develop a metabolic therapy to purely treat cancer.

Van Tine and his team used a drug called arginine deiminase (ADI-PEG20) to destroy all arginine in the blood stream and starve cancer cells. This new finding is important because it is the first dual metabolic therapy for cancer that should be cancer-specifc because the first drug (arginine deiminase) only effects cancer cells and the second drug only becomes important when the first drug works.

The hope is that this therapy will be cancer-specific and therefore much less toxic than chemotherapy.

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