Novel drug combination offers therapeutic promise for hard-to-treat cancers
Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) have identified a new combination of targeted therapies that, together, may treat two aggressive tumor types that until now have not had effective treatments. These findings are published in Cancer Cell on September 13, 2011.
While numerous anti-cancer drugs are being developed, many tumors do not respond to currently available single therapies. As such, there is a major push to identify new drug combinations that can work together to treat these resistant cancers.
The drug combination identified by BWH researchers was shown to successfully treat two models of aggressive cancers: a nervous system tumor associated with neurofibromatosis type 1, and KRAS-mutant lung cancer, a form of lung cancer that accounts for about 25 percent of all lung cancers.
“Without a targeted treatment that works, these two cancers are currently being treated with chemotherapy with variable success,” said Dr. Karen Cichowski, Associate Professor in Genetics at BWH and lead author of the paper. “By identifying a more effective targeted treatment, the outcome and survival rate for these cancers may see a drastic improvement, and patients may avoid the typical side-effects of chemotherapy.”
Researchers took the approach of combining two targeted agents, one the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin, which suppressed tumor growth, along with the HSP90 inhibitor IPI-504 from Infinity Pharmaceuticals, which triggers a specific kind of stress in cancer cells. Together, but not alone, these drugs promoted dramatic tumor regression in these two distinct cancers in mice.
“It’s like hitting the tumor cell from two different angles,” explains Dr. Cichowski. “Using one drug to put on the brakes and another to apply stress to an already stressed cancer cell, which ultimately triggers its self-destruction.”
These studies have inspired the testing of a drug combination that is now in a Phase I clinical trial, specifically in KRAS-mutant lung cancer.
“The identification of this promising therapeutic combination sets the stage for developing other combinations and may also prove effective in other cancers through further research,” said Dr. Cichowski.
The research was funded by the National Cancer Institute and the Ludwig Center at Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.
Holly Brown-Ayers | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...