Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A new mouse could help understand how some lung cancer cells evade drug treatment

10.12.2009
Drug resistant lung cancer cells change their behavior in ways we do not understand to evade treatment, but these events can now be recapitulated and studied in mice
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide and lung adenocarcinoma is the most common type. Many cases of lung adenocarcinoma are attributed to a mutation in a gene for the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR).

Lung cancer with changes in EGFR is initially treatable with a family of chemotherapeutic agents called tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), such as gefitinib and erlotinib. However, patients often develop resistance to these drugs through the acquisition of additional changes or secondary mutations that allow cancer cells to evade treatment.

Some secondary mutations to the EGFR gene that allow lung cancer cells to survive in the presence of current chemotherapy are known. These secondary changes are now the focus of targeted efforts to create drugs to specifically interfere with the mutated form of the protein. Unfortunately, in 40% of the cases in which patients become resistant to therapy, the molecular events that confer this resistance are not known. Without knowing the changes that sustain the survival of these cells it remains impossible to specifically and effectively target them with anti-cancer drugs.

Scientists now describe a mouse model of lung cancer that develops resistance to TKI drugs in at least some of the same ways that humans do. Lung cancer occurs in these mice due to a mutation in EGFR that is the same as the mutation that underlies many human lung adenocarcinomas. Some of the defined secondary changes to EGFR, which are known to confer drug resistance in humans, also occur in these mice. But most of these drug resistant mice bear tumors that do not contain known mutations. This important similarity to the human situation suggests that this mouse model might help identify the currently unknown mutations that make lung cancer cells resistant to therapy.

Many techniques are now available to unravel the genetic changes that occur in cancer cells. Since these mice recapitulate many of the known mutations that characterize human lung cancer, the hope is that their cells can be screened to identify the currently unknown mutations that promote drug resistance in lung cancer cells. This provides a model to uncover the molecular events responsible for the 40% of patients that become resistant to TKI therapy due to unknown causes. Once novel mechanisms of resistance are identified, these mice might also become valuable preclinical systems to evaluate the efficacy of therapeutics developed to combat drug-resistant disease.

The characterization of mice with drug resistant lung tumors is presented in the Research Report titled 'Erlotinib resistance in mouse models of epidermal growth factor receptor-induced lung adenocarcinoma' and was written by Katerina Politi, Pang-Dian Fan, Ronglai Shen, Maureen Zakowski and Harold Varmus at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, USA. The study is published in the January/Febuary 2010 issue of the new research journal, Disease Models & Mechanisms (DMM), , published by The Company of Biologists, a non-profit based in Cambridge, UK.

About Disease Models & Mechanisms:

Disease Models & Mechanisms (DMM) is a new research journal, launched in 2008, that publishes primary scientific research, as well as review articles, editorials, and research highlights. The journal's mission is to provide a forum for clinicians and scientists to discuss basic science and clinical research related to human disease, disease detection and novel therapies. DMM is published by the Company of Biologists, a non-profit organization based in Cambridge, UK.

The Company also publishes the international biology research journals Development, Journal of Cell Science, and The Journal of Experimental Biology. In addition to financing these journals, the Company provides grants to scientific societies and supports other activities including travelling fellowships for junior scientists, workshops and conferences. The world's poorest nations receive free and unrestricted access to the Company's journals.

Kristy Kain | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vanderbilt.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute

nachricht Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>