Percentage of late-stage cancer patients with cachexia
Percentage of cancer deaths directly caused by cachexia
Number of FDA-approved treatments for cachexia
Cancer cachexia is a wasting syndrome experienced by 80% of advanced-stage cancer patients that induces significant muscle and fat loss and directly causes approximately 30% of cancer deaths1. Despite its devastating effect on patient outcomes, there are currently no FDA-approved treatments for cancer cachexia2.
Our project tackles cachexia through engineered macrophages that modulate the levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), a cytokine whose overabundance in cancer patients causes systemic immune dysfunction and is largely responsible for the wasting associated with cachexia3. By engineering macrophages with a chimeric antigen receptor that induces phagocytosis upon IL-6 binding, we have designed a novel therapeutic that reduces IL-6 levels to a healthy baseline.
To quickly learn more about our project, view our project promotion video below.