At the end of the 1970s a clinical immunotherapy trial using polyA/U in breast cancers was conducted at the Gustave Roussy Institute (Paris), showing increased survival among 300 women receiving this product intravenously (Lacour et al, The Lancet, 26 July 1980,161-164). These data were confirmed by another trial including 517 patients conducted between 1982 and 1985 (Lacour J et al, Breast cancer Res Treat 1991, Sep;19(1) 15-21).
A retrospective immunohistochemical analysis of 194 patients included in the latter trial in 2011 showed that the beneficial effect was directly attributable to the expression of TLR3 in the tumor (Salaun et al et al, Cancer Research, 2011, 71(5),1607-1614).
The heterogeneous structure of poly A/U and its poorly controlled mode of manufacturing made this product unusable for pharmaceutical purposes.
However, the highly promising results obtained and the good tolerance of the activation of TLR3 in humans led TOLLYS researchers to find new molecules capable of reproducing the action of polyA/U.
This was achieved with a family of molecules including TL-532.
Centre Léon Bérard
A new dimension in immuno-oncology
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