Cancer is a James Bond Supervillain

Sep 15, 2023

What do all Bond supervillains from Auric Goldfinger to Hugo Drax, and Ernst Stavro Blofeld have in common?

A: They are to a man sadistic, murderous, hand-rubbing megalomaniacs who have completely given themselves over to power-lust, greed, and genocidal fantasies of mass extermination.

In a nutshell, that describes cancer to a T. The T is for tumors—and for torment. These tumors are Bond supervillains that sadistically brutalize, exploit, and murder their hosts for no apparent reason—and in the end for no apparent gain since when the host dies so do they—other than to inflict grievous suffering.

When Auric Goldfinger, the supervillain, captures Bond, straps him to a table, and threatens to cut him in half, 007 sneers, “Do you expect me to talk?” Goldfinger responds, “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!.”

Likewise, it is impossible to reason with cancer, a murderous megalomaniac that expects its hosts first to suffer terribly, and then to die.

So, how does Bond against whom the odds are so dramatically and ridiculously stacked still manage to thwart death and to win the day, time and time and time again?

Through the help of trusted friends and allies like Felix Leiter, Quarrel, Q, M, Miss Goodnight, Vesper, Solitaire, and Tiger Tanaka who sacrifice themselves to put him in a position to win.

And is there a lesson to be learned from this for the treatment of cancer?

Most definitely, yes.

No man including James Bond is an island and similarly no anticancer agent however cytotoxic and active it is can truly succeed on its own because of how complex tumors are and how extensive the reach of their sinister tentacles. Each anticancer agent needs a partner or partners to help it snatch victory from the jaws—pun intended given the name of the iconic Bond antagonist—of defeat.

From our perspective at EpicentRx, the lead therapy, nibrozetone (RRx-001), combines well with chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and/or radiation in almost any tumor type including small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and first line head and neck cancer (HNC). The same is true of the other EpicentRx lead therapy, AdAPT-001, the adenovirus that expresses a TGF-β trap, which is well-suited to be delivered with chemotherapies, targeted therapies, and checkpoint inhibitors.

In Casino Royale, one of the best, if not the best, 007 movie, Bond sets out on his first mission to eliminate the shadowy international terrorist organization known as SPECTRE—all with help of his friends. Similarly, nibrozetone (RRx-001) and AdAPT-001 are on a mission, a not-so-secret mission in this case, to battle and eliminate cancer with their chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy “friends.”