ISMC, and its affiliate company, E-P Therapeutics Inc, have been studying the application of our discovery and patent protected Human E-Peptide (designated as hEb) in microgravity as a part of our interest in the Humans in Space and Microbes in Space programs. The hEb has been shown to down-regulate malignant cellular growth and kill many different malignant cell lines by apoptosis. Cancer cells that have been studied are:
- Breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231 and ZR-75-1)
- Colon cancer cells (HT29)
- Hepatoma cells (HepG2)
- Leukemia cells
- Neuroblastoma cells (SK-N-F1)
- Ovarian cancer cells (SKOV and OVCAR)
- Protease cancer cells (PC3)
- Small lung cancer cells (NCI-H526F)
Our hEb represents the cleavage of the terminal carboxy end of a pro-IGF-1 molecule. When cleavage occurs, IGF-1 is released and hEb is found as independent molecules. It is water soluble and heat-resistant, and it also has an anti-angiogenesis effect by inhibiting endothelial cell growth. There is evidence that hEb has an inhibitory effect on malignant stem cells.
Studies demonstrate that mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) enhance neoplastic growth while others demonstrate an anti-tumorigenic quality. It is known that MSC have the ability to migrate to tumor sites and react with tumors. MSC can also respond to inflammation around the tumor and deliver cytokines, necrosis factor and interleukin-6, around the tumor environment. The interaction of hEb and mesenchymal stem cells should potentiate tumor necrosis.
Our ISMC research has considered the hyper-G and micro-G challenges associated with transport to the ISS. We understand that the proliferation of malignant MDA-MB231 breast cancer cells in microgravity to be greater than the same tumor cells grown at 1G. Our aim is to test the ability of hEb to respond to faster growing tumor cells and demonstrate its ability to function in a very aggressive environment. MDA-MB231 breast cancer cells in micro-gravity have cell survival up-regulated. This will challenge hEb’s ability to kill cancer cells by apoptosis. Mesenchymal Stem Cells will also be tested against the breast cancer cells to evaluate its effect on tumor growth. The effect of E-Peptide on MSC will also be observed. If successful, this study would demonstrate the potential for hEb to be developed as a novel chemotherapeutic agent. It will also show the effects of Mesenchymal Stem Cells on tumor growth and its use in cancer treatment.
ISMC welcomes inquiries from research organizations, universities, government and corporate partners to accelerate our project and to participate in the health and well-being of humanity in the exploration of space and interplanetary colonization.