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 New technique unveils 'matrix' inside tissues and tumors
29.06.2017 | University of Copenhagen The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

nachricht Designed proteins to treat muscular dystrophy
29.06.2017 | Universität Basel

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 Waves

Computer scientists use wave packet theory to develop realistic, detailed water wave simulations in real time. Their results will be presented at this year’s SIGGRAPH conference.

Think about the last time you were at a lake, river, or the ocean. Remember the ripples of the water, the waves crashing against the rocks, the wake following...

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nanostructures taste the rainbow

29.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technique unveils 'matrix' inside tissues and tumors

29.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Cystic fibrosis alters the structure of mucus in airways

29.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>