Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

A 'Pre-Existing Resistance'


Two new studies published in Nature suggest that resistance to targeted cancer therapies "may be almost inevitable" if they aren't used in combination, reports MedPage Today's Michael Smith. Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center's Luis Diaz and his colleagues developed a mathematical model based on genetic testing of colorectal cancer patients suggesting that resistance may exist before treatment has even begun, Smith says. Alberto Bardelli's group at the Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment in Turin, Italy, not only found evidence of "preexisting resistance," Smith adds, but also that resistance is largely a problem when a patient is treated with a single targeted therapeutic. The solution, according to both groups, would be to use the drugs in combination.

"These resistance mutations develop by chance as cancer cells divide so that tumors always contain thousands of resistance cells," Diaz said in a statement. Co-author Bert Vogelstein adds that "long-term remissions of advanced cancers will be nearly impossible with single targeted agents."

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.