Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mutations in the BRAF gene predict sensitivity to a novel class of cancer drugs

07.11.2005


A team of researchers led by scientists at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have discovered that a new class of drugs -- now in early stage clinical trials -- work best in patients with mutations in the BRAF gene. BRAF is a protein that plays a central role in the growth and survival of cancer cells and is mutated in the majority of patients with melanoma and in a minority of patients with colon, breast, and lung cancers. The findings, available in an advance online publication of Nature, represent a potential targeted therapy tailored for patients whose tumors contain this mutation.



The researchers found that drugs that inhibit a protein called MEK selectively inhibited the growth of cancer cells lines and tumors that have a mutated BRAF gene. One of these drugs, PD0325901 (developed by Pfizer Research and Development), is now being tested in clinical trials of patients with melanoma, colon, breast, and lung cancers. In addition, by re-analyzing the data on more than 42,000 compounds tested by the National Cancer Institute against a panel of 60 cancer cell lines, the investigators were able to identify a small number of other compounds that also selectively inhibit tumors that have the BRAF mutation. While the mechanism of action of some of these compounds has yet to be determined, several of the most effective compounds were also inhibitors of the MEK protein.

"We find that all tumors with the BRAF mutation and some with the RAS mutation are sensitive to drugs that inhibit MEK," explained Dr. Neal Rosen, Professor of Medicine and a member and laboratory head in the Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and the study’s senior author. "Translating these findings into a strategy for treating patients whose tumors are dependent upon this specific genetic change is the next step, and such clinical trials are now ongoing."


"The BRAF mutation was first identified by a consortium of investigators searching for proteins that are frequently mutated in human cancer," said Dr. David Solit, the study’s first author and a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering who is also a member of Dr. Rosen’s laboratory. This project, an outgrowth of the Human Genome Project, called the Cancer Genome Project, has the goal of identifying the causative mutations that cause human cancers.

"This represents what we believe will be the first of a series of new drugs that specifically target cancer cells that contain mutations identified by the Cancer Genome sequencing effort," said Dr. Solit. "The hope is that these new targeted therapies will be more effective and less toxic than traditional chemotherapies."

The study’s other researchers were Christine A. Pratilas, Ayana Sawai, Andrea Basso, Qing Ye, Jose M. Lobo, and Yuhong She, all of Memorial Sloan-Kettering; Drs. Levi A.Galloway, Gad Getz, Todd R. Golub, and William R. Sellers of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Dr. Iman Osman of New York University Medical College; and Dr. Judith Sebolt-Leopold of Pfizer Global Research and Development.

Joanne Nicholas | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mskcc.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Link Discovered between Immune System, Brain Structure and Memory
26.04.2017 | Universität Basel

nachricht Researchers develop eco-friendly, 4-in-1 catalyst
25.04.2017 | Brown University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Millions through license revenues

27.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

The TU Ilmenau develops tomorrow’s chip technology today

27.04.2017 | Information Technology

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>