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Ranpirnase is a ribonuclease enzyme. It breaks down the genetic material RNA into smaller components and thereby renders the cell dysfunctional. (A ribonuclease is an enzyme that degrades RNA, by definition.) It is under investigation for treatment of mesothelioma.

According to a press release from the drug company Alfacell, ranpirnase is well tolerated in humans with "no evidence of cardiac toxicity or life-time exposure limit as with doxorubicin or other anthracyclines."

How it works

When a cancer cell divides it uses RNA to help form a new copy of itself. Ranpirnase works by breaking down RNA which is used to code for a cell’s DNA thus killing or disabling a cell. Many chemotherapy drugs work by interfering with cell division, but the great thing about ribnucleases is that they appear to selectively attack malignant cells. The ranpirnase molecule is 105 amino acids long. It is derived from amphibian eggs.

Investigators found that ranpirnase does not induce myelosuppression, mucositis, alopecia, cardiotoxicity, coagulopathy, hepatotoxicity, or adverse metabolic effects.



Press releases from Alfacell:

Alfacell Corporation Files for U.S. Orphan Drug Designation for Onconase

Onconase Shows Survival Benefit in Patients with Malignant Mesothelioma

Onconase Clinical Trial Enrollment Expected to Be Ahead of Schedule

Alfacell Achieves Full Patient Enrollment Milestone for the ONCONASE Phase IIIb Registration Study in Unresectable Malignant Mesothelioma

Update on ONCONASE Phase IIIb Confirmatory Registration Trial; Releases First Interim Analysis Data

New Research Findings Published in National Academy of Sciences Journal Show Unique Promise of ONCONASE in the Prevention and Treatment of Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer Caused by Asbestos

Ranpinase has Potential as Chemopreventive Agent in Mesothelioma, Reports World-Renowned Mesothelioma Researcher at AACR Annual Meeting

Update on Ranpirase Clinical Program

More on chemotherapy for mesothelioma.

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