• Radiologic Technology News

Radiation, Drug Combo Fight Lung Cancer

Jan 29, 2016

A triple therapy treatment that works by combining two experimental drugs along with radiation therapy may help fight a type of lung cancer that has proven resistant to other approaches. The results were published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

The new study in mice targets cancers with KRAS-related gene mutations using trametinib and palbociclib, drugs normally used for other types of cancers. In anews release, Bo Lu, M.D., said, “Although further research in human subjects is needed to confirm the finding, our study suggests that we may be able to identify non-small cell lung cancer patients who are likely to benefit most from this combination of therapies.”

Researchers discovered that a mutation in a protein called p16 was responsible for the drug resistance. To help make these resistant cancers more vulnerable to therapy, the team combined the KRAS-targeting drug with another drug that would undo the effects of the mutation. The combination of the two drugs made the cancer cells sensitive to radiotherapy and more easily eradicated.

"If you hit one target, another can take over," Dr. Lu said. "If you hit two, it becomes a lethal bullet."

At this time, the drugs used in the study are not approved for the treatment of lung cancer.

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