Saturday, April 14, 2018

Double-drug strategy blocks escape route for most lung cancers

The tumors in the top three rows above were treated with
 current drugs, the bottom row tumors were treated with the
new combination. Image courtesy of UT Southwestern
CANCER DIGEST – April 14, 2018 – A combination of two, already FDA-approved drugs, appear to be effective in treating non-small lung cancer, at least in mice models that had human-derived tumors, researchers say. Because the two drugs are already approved, the researchers hope to have a clinical trial in humans approved within a year.

The two drugs include a class of drugs called EGFR inhibitors such as Erbitux®, Tarceva® and Iressa®, and the class of TNF inhibitors such as Humira®, Enbrel® and Remicade®.

The EGFR drugs act against the epidermal growth factor receptor that cancer tumors use to spur growth, and the anti-TNF drugs block the tumor from using the tumor necrosis factor as a back-door that allows the tumor to become resistant to the EGFR inhibitor.

Led by Dr. Amyn Habib, associate professor of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics with the Simmons Cancer Center at the University of Texas Southwestern, the researchers wanted to understand why anti-EGFR drugs are very beneficial to a small number of patients but not effective in most others. They zeroed in on TNF as a result of their research in brain cancer.

“There has been a tremendous effort over the past several years to block EGFR as a treatment for lung cancer," Dr. Habib said in a press release. "But this therapy only works in a small subset of patients. The cancer fights back with a bypass pathway. Blocking both of these proteins could be a treatment that is beneficial for the majority of lung cancer patients.”

In the study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the researchers compared human lung cancer tumors grown in mice treated with current treatments and with the combination treatment using the anti-EGFR and anti-TNF drugs. The results showed dramatic shrinkage of tumors treated with the combination treatment relative to the current drugs.

No comments:

Post a Comment