Onconase is an experimental chemotherapy drug derived from the eggs and embryonic stem cells from the leopard frog.
The drug is designed to enhance the anti-cancer effects of traditional chemotherapy, allowing lower doses to be effective and producing fewer side effects. Even though the drug works more slowly than other chemo drugs, its lower toxicity levels mean no hair loss, anemia, nausea or other common side effects usually associated with standard chemotherapy drugs.
Onconase is currently in Phase IIIb trials. Thus far, however, reports issued after Phase II trials have demonstrated that “the tumors either shrank or stopped growing in 41 of the 81 patients that were assessable for tumor response.” The median survival of the more than 300 patients who entered the trial without symptoms from the cancer was 18.5 months.
In addition, the role of Onconase as an early first-line preventative mesothelioma treatment (which is usually diagnosed in its late stages) could mean prolonged life for the millions of people exposed to asbestos during the last five decades.
Onconase is also one of the first embryonic stem cell products to reach the final stages of testing.
Manufactured by Alfacell Corporation.