Moving past chemotherapy, radiation and surgery

New directions in cancer care

Cancer is a complex disease or rather, a collection of many types of diseases, but cancer itself has a simple definition. Cancer is a malignant or invasive growth that occurs when cells divide and grow uncontrollably, and these cells invade other areas of the body.

Despite billions of dollars in research in government labs, academic medical centers and biopharmaceutical companies, current treatment options remain mostly limited to surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, all of which come with challenging side effects and limited therapeutic efficacy. Recently, a fourth approach in immunotherapy has emerged to leverage or manipulate a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. Ziopharm is committed to advancing this fourth option with our immunotherapy platforms.

Solid tumors

Approximately 90 percent of new cancer diagnoses are solid tumors, which occur when uncontrollably growing cancer cells cluster together and form a lump or mass. These cancers often are named for the body part in or on which these tumors are formed, such as breast, prostate or colon cancer.

Ziopharm is advancing a novel approach to fight solid tumors. Under a research and development agreement with the National Cancer Institute to advance Sleeping Beauty in the fight against solid tumors, we are bioengineering T-cell receptors, or TCRs, that will target so-called neoantigens which are specific to an individual patient’s cancer.