Results from the Kortuc, Inc. and Okayama University research on KRC-01 tumor immunity will be presented at AACR 2023

  • R&D

Today KORTUC, Inc. announced that its research results — on the immune response mechanism for activation against cancer (anti-tumor immune response) by the new radiosensitizer KRC-01 — will be presented by Okayama University’s Professor Yosuke Togashi at the AACR 2023 (American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2023).

Over half of U.S. and European cancer patients receive radiotherapy during treatment. However, the lesion’s center and surrounding areas become hypoxic when the tumor grows to a certain size; this makes radiotherapy less effective in most solid tumors — such as breast and lung cancers. KRC-01 is expected to increase radiotherapy’s anti-tumor effect by (a) supplying oxygen to cancer tissues and (b) inactivating antioxidant enzymes that cause tumor radioresistance.

In addition, radiotherapy is known to activate an anti-tumor immune response. Many clinical trials have been conducted to evaluate the synergistic effect of radiotherapy with immune checkpoint inhibitors; however, such a synergistic effect may be limited as hypoxia causes radioresistance and may also negatively impact the anti-tumor, immune response.
Okayama University Professor Yosuke Togashi (Department of Tumor Microenvironment, Graduate School of Medicine Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences) is an expert in tumor immunology. Dr. Togashi and KORTUC Inc. have been collaborating to evaluate the potential of KRC-01 as a new, anti-tumor, immune response modulator.

This research demonstrates that KRC-01 — in combination with radiation and by tumor-specific immune activation — has an antitumor effect on untreated distant metastases lesions.
Furthermore, this anti-tumor activity was further enhanced when combined with immune checkpoint inhibitors. The results from this triple combination therapy highlights new possibilities for KRC-01 — not only as a local therapeutic agent (radiosensitizer) but also as a systemic immunostimulant.