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One of the essential pathways that cancer takes in order to spread to other parts of the body has long been identified as the Axl/Gas6 pathway; knowing this, researchers have tried for more than a decade to find a way to halt, block, or otherwise remove this pathway from being available to cancer cells, thereby potentially curing cancer. But until about four years ago, the only research efforts that existed were focused on knocking out or making the Axl component unable to bind with Gas6, which would shut down the pathway as a whole.

CEO of Aravive, Jay Shepard, joins the podcast to discuss why this approach has had only variably successful results, and why the approach they are taking has already shown a great deal of promise. Rather than targeting Axl, the team at Aravive has created a “decoy” of Gas6, which essentially acts to fool Axl into binding with it instead of natural Gas6. The idea was created by Stanford scientist and current founder of Aravive, Amato Giaccia. In pre-clinical trials, this method stopped or reversed metastasis in cancers, and cured resistant ovarian cancer in 20-30% of mice. Shepard discusses the ins and outs of this unprecedented research, the potential it holds, how it would take shape within the current landscape of cancer therapies, and what’s next on the list.

Press play to hear the full conversation, and check out to learn more.

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