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Today, the prognosis for a patient with renal (kidney) cancer that has spread is very poor. Current treatment of metastasized kidney cancer only, on average, prolongs the life for the suffering patients with a few months, and often the therapy has severe side-effects. Oncorena develops a drug based on the natural substance orellanine, found in certain mushrooms known to cause kidney damage to persons who eat them. In experiments we have demonstrated that orellanine kills also kidney cancer cells and this will now be verified in patients.

Treatment based on a natural substance

Worldwide, 270 000 persons every year are diagnosed with renal (kidney) cancer. In 1/3 of these patients the cancer has already spread and the prognosis is unfortunately very poor. Oncorena develops a product based on orellanine, with the goal of a long-term survival benefit, or even cure, for these patients.

It is a unique project in that sense that humans are already exposed to orellanine after accidentally eating mushrooms containing the substance. Therefore, we know that orellanine does not have any obvious long-term side effects outside the kidney. If the patients still have functional kidneys before the treatment starts, it is most likely that they will require dialysis or kidney transplantation. Different strategies are evaluated by the researchers to develop a “kidney-saving” therapy even if not in the scope for the current project.