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Drug that could tackle bowel cancer drug-resistance

Monday March 25th, 2019

British scientists have identified a third drug that could help tackle resistance to treatment when bowel cancer is treated with the latest therapies, it was announced today.

So far the triple-treatment combination has only been tested in laboratory conditions – and in vivo studies are needed to ensure it is safe for living subjects, researchers said.

The treatment was identified as scientists from the Institute of Cancer Research, London, studied drug resistance in the new cobimetinib-pictilisib drug combination.

The analysis of 47 bowel cancer cell lines found that drug resistance evolved after about eight weeks. The researchers also identified molecules from the BCL-2 family as being essential for survival of the treatment-resistant disease.

This led them to navitoclax, which can inhibit these molecules, they report today in Oncogene.

Researcher Dr Paul Clarke said: “We have shown that a three-pronged attack can be effective against bowel cancer cells by blocking off their various escape routes from treatment.

“The research is still at a fairly early stage, but in principle combinations of targeted drugs could be similarly effective against many other cancer types.”

Fellow researcher Professor Paul Workman said: “Our study dissected out the process by which bowel cancer cells evolve to become drug resistant - and has applied the knowledge gained to the design of a new triple combination treatment.

“Further research is needed, but we think this triple combination of targeted drugs has the potential to help patients respond to treatment for much longer.”

Oncogene 25 March 2019

Tags: Cancer | Gastroenterology | Pharmaceuticals | UK News

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