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Basically, it’s an area of research focused on the science and treatment of cancer and metabolic hormone dysfunction (which is typical in overweight and obese people). Before getting into the details, though, let’s take a step back.
Obesity rates are on the rise in the United States and around the world. Besides increasing the incidence of heart disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome, this trend puts people at greater risk of both getting cancer and dying from it. As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology:
“Obesity is associated with worsened prognosis after cancer diagnosis and also negatively affects the delivery of systemic therapy, contributes to morbidity of cancer treatment, and may raise the risk of second malignancies and comorbidities.”
Obesity is characterized by excess adipose (or fat) tissue. Excess visceral adipose tissue (belly fat) is common in overweight and obese patients, and releases a variety of hormones that are stimulative to cancer. Over time, this fat depot can become inflamed, leading to systemic insulin resistance and the overproduction of insulin. This combination of events creates an tumor microenvironment that is highly conducive for and actively promotes tumor growth and metastasis.
These “metabolically sensitive” tumors comprise about 20 percent of cancer cases in the United States and account for over 80,000 deaths from cancer per year. These patients have higher cancer mortality rates than their metabolically normal counterparts. Currently, no novel treatments target this population.
There is no doubt that systemic metabolism plays a major role in cancer development and progression. Yet, physicians have no dedicated tools developed specifically for their cancer patients with concomitant underlying metabolic issues, such as overweight/obesity, pre-diabetes, or type 2 diabetes.
SynDevRx is filling that gap, thus giving hope to the thousands of patients for whom traditional treatments either don’t work at all (metformin) or only work for a short time. We believe that by improving the underlying metabolic issues, SDX-7320 can reduce the tumor-stimulating hormones and systemic inflammation while also acting upon the tumor microenvironment in this patient population. Our hypothesis — which we’re exploring through clinical trials — if shown to be true, will change the nature of cancer treatment for millions of cancer patients worldwide.