Aethlon Medical, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: AEMD), the pioneer in developing therapeutic filtration devices to address infectious disease and cancer, announced today that its researchers have demonstrated the ability of the Aethlon Hemopurifier® to capture immunosuppressive exosomes derived from individuals with metastatic melanoma.
The Hemopurifier® is the first medical device to selectively target the removal of infectious viruses and immunosuppressive proteins from the entire circulatory system. Metastatic melanoma is an advanced stage of skin cancer where cancer cells have spread to tissues, lymph nodes, or body organs. The classification of either stage III or IV denotes metastasis. Metastasis greatly affects the survival rate or life expectancy of patients with melanoma. The 5-year survival rate of stage III melanoma is approximately 50% to 68%, while stage IV survival is approximately 18%.
“Our goal is to provide oncologists with a device that will improve effectiveness of melanoma cancer therapies without adding drug toxicity or interaction risks,” stated Aethlon Chairman and CEO, Jim Joyce. “The data also provides supporting insight that our Hemopurifier® has broad-spectrum activity against various forms of cancer.” Aethlon previously demonstrated that the Hemopurifier® was effective in capturing exosomes from the fluids of five ovarian cancer patients during in vitro studies.
Aethlon believes the Hemopurifier® represents the sole therapeutic strategy to directly inhibit or reverse the deleterious effects associated with exosomes secreted by tumors as a survival mechanism for cancer. Tumor-secreted exosomes have been reported to trigger programmed cell death (apoptosis) of immune cells; interrupt T-cell signaling required to mount an immune response; inhibit the production of anti-cancer cytokines, and have implications in the spread of metastasis and allowing for angiogenesis.
In the study, small-scale versions of the Hemopurifier® removed 73% of melanoma derived exosomes from cell culture fluids in one hour and 87% in two hours. The study also documented the capability of a diagnostic device being advanced by Aethlon Medical’s wholly owned subsidiary Exosome Sciences, Inc. The device, known as an enzyme linked lectin specific assay (ELLSA) was proven to directly detect melanoma derived exosomes from fluid samples. Previously, exosomes had been measured by total protein content in purified samples and by indirect immunomodulatory effects. ELLSA directly measures exosome particles in complex solutions, and has already been found capable of detecting exosomes from other sources, including ovarian cancer and tuberculosis-infected macrophages. While the Hemopurifier® represents a new therapeutic strategy to address cancer, ELLSA is being advanced to provide the ability to diagnose and monitor cancer progression.
Aethlon Medical, Inc.