Combining the experimental therapy MDNA55 with anti-cancer interferons (IFNs) can effectively kill cancer cells and extend the survival of mice with metastatic ovarian cancer, new research results show. The study, "Combination immunotherapy with IL-4- Pseudomonas exotoxin and IFN-α and IFN-γ mediate antitumor effects in vitro and in a mouse model of human ovarian cancer," was published in the journal Immunotherapy. MDNA55 is a fusion protein being developed by Medicenna Therapeutics that contains a modified interleukin-4 protein fused to a toxin from the bacteria Pseudomonas (IL-4-PE). It specifically targets the IL-4 receptor, a protein that is over-produced in 20 different cancer types, including ovarian cancer. Once IL4-PE binds to IL-4R, it is taken up by the cells, thereby stopping protein synthesis and inducing cell death. IFNs are molecules with a well-known role in cell cycle and cellular proliferation, as well as in antiviral and antibacterial responses. Despite the current use of IFN-alpha subtypes in the treatment of hairy cell leukemia and melanoma, neither IFN-alpha nor IFN-gamma subtypes are used to treat patients with ovarian cancer.