Antitumor B (ATB), also known as Zeng Sheng Ping, is a tablet made according to modern GMP standards. It contains the extracts of following six Chinese medicinal herbs: Sophora tonkinensis, Polygonum bistorta, Prunella vulgaris, Sonchus brachyotus, Dictamnus dasycarpus, and Dioscorea bulbifera. Previously, clinical studies have shown significant chemopreventive efficacy of ATB against human esophageal squamous cell carcinomas and oral cancers. In a randomized clinical trial in patients with oral leukoplakia, treatment with ATB (4 tablets, 3 times per day for 8?12 months) reduced the size of oral lesions in 68% of the patients versus 17% of the patients in the placebo control group (P < 0.01), indicating that ATB may be a potent preventive agent against the development of oral cancer in humans. We found that ATB inhibited chemically induced oral squamous cell carcinomas (by ~60%) in mice and identified several key active compounds that are capable of inhibiting oral cancer cell proliferation. Our published study also showed that several key active compounds were found in the oral tissues and likely contributed to the chemoprevention effects of ATB. However, it is unknown if a key active component (KAC), called ATB-KAC? which is enriched with 50% or more of three active compounds (i.e., dictamine, fraxinellone and maackiain) and therefore better chemically defined for QA/QC purposes, will have a stronger efficacy against oral carcinogenesis than ATB. We will use both the 4NQO-induced oral carcinogenesis mouse model and a ?window of opportunity (WOO)? trial approach to determine the efficacy of ATB-KAC? along with its pharmacodynamic (PD) responses and pharmacokinetic (PK) properties and biomarkers of efficacy. We hypothesize that oral administration of a better chemically defined ATB-KAC? can significantly increase efficacy in preventing oral carcinogenesis in mouse models and will have the desirable PK properties and biomarker responses in both mice and humans.
Aim 1 will perform phytochemical and pharmacokinetic characterizations of ATB-KAC? and develop a PD/PK model to describe their efficacy and biomarker responses.
Aim 2 will conduct mouse oral cancer chemoprevention studies to determine the efficacy of ATB-KAC? on oral carcinogenesis and to identify novel biomarkers.
Aim 3 will perform a WOO trial of ATB, ATB-KAC?, or placebo in patients with newly diagnosed oral cancer. This proposal is timely and significant because the proposed WOO trial is important step for the development of ATB-KAC? for future human phase II studies by filling the knowledge gap between biomarkers in humans and those in the matched mouse models. In addition, we will measure the PD and PK responses of ATB-KAC? in the WOO trial and develop a PK/PD model to further enhance our understanding the necessary dose needed for future phase II human studies.

Public Health Relevance

We propose to evaluate a widely used Chinese herbal formula Antitumor B (ATB) and its more active ATB-KAC? as potent oral cancer preventive agents. We will conduct a ?window of opportunity? (WOO) clinical trial of ATB and ATB-KAC? in patients with oral cancer. The WOO trial will be supported by mouse oral cancer chemoprevention studies to determine the efficacy of ATB-KAC? on oral carcinogenesis and compare it against ATB. We will also perform pharmacokinetic characterizations and PD/PK modeling of ATB-KAC? in both animal models and humans. We believe that the proposed studies are highly significant because future Phase II clinical prevention trials of ATB-KAC? will require vigorous characterization of its bioavailability and pharmacokinetics and the use of efficacy related biomarkers.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Project (R01)
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Chemo/Dietary Prevention Study Section (CDP)
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Szabo, Eva
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Medical College of Wisconsin
Schools of Medicine
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Lieberman, Rachel; You, Ming (2017) Corrupting the DNA damage response: a critical role for Rad52 in tumor cell survival. Aging (Albany NY) 9:1647-1659