Sometimes, cancer drugs stop working. It's an issue that has frustrated doctors and researchers, especially in this era of targeted cancer therapies tailored to the mutations in individual patients' tumors, says Technology Review's Emily Singer. But researchers from Dana Farber Cancer Institute and UCLA are working on uncovering the mechanisms that some melanoma tumors use to combat cancer drugs, and are hoping to use that information to design better drugs and drug combinations that will either work for a longer time or overcome the resistance problem altogether. The Dana Farber researchers analyzed the effects of 600 different protein kinases on melanoma tumor cells, and found that when nine of them were overactive, the cells became resistant to promising treatments. One of the implicated kinases had never even been seen to act in cancer, Singer says. The UCLA team had similar results.
Resistance Is Futile
Dec 14, 2010