Predicting drug responsiveness in cancer patients

Jul 26, 2010

Drugs such as everolimus that target the protein mTOR are used to treat several forms of cancer, but not all patients respond to the treatment. A team of researchers, led by Alberto Bardelli, at the University of Turin Medical School, Italy, has now identified a way to help predict which patients will respond to such drugs.

Specifically, the team found that human cells with in the PIK3CA gene responded to everolimus in vitro except when a KRAS gene mutation was also present. Importantly, in a cohort of metastatic cancer patients, the presence of KRAS gene mutations was associated with lack of response to treatment with everolimus therapy.

These data suggest that by looking for the presence or absence of PIK3CA and KRAS mutations in a person's tumor it will be possible to predict whether or not that person will benefit from treatment with a drug that targets mTOR. However, as noted in an accompanying commentary, by Morassa Mohseni and Ben Ho Park, at The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, while these data have enormous potential to change clinical practice, larger prospective studies are required to verify them.

Explore further: Survival hope for melanoma patients thanks to new vaccine

More information: www.jci.org/articles/view/37539?key=fd893349707da2f3dddf

Provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Colon cancer may yield to cellular sugar starvation

Aug 06, 2009

Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have discovered how two cancer-promoting genes enhance a tumor's capacity to grow and survive under conditions where normal cells die. The knowledge, they say, may offer ...

Recommended for you

Survival hope for melanoma patients thanks to new vaccine

1 hour ago

(Medical Xpress)—University of Adelaide researchers have discovered that a new trial vaccine offers the most promising treatment to date for melanoma that has spread, with increased patient survival rates and improved ability ...

New clinical trial launched for advance lung cancer

4 hours ago

Cancer Research UK is partnering with pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Pfizer to create a pioneering clinical trial for patients with advanced lung cancer – marking a new era of research into personalised medicines ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Firm targets 3D printing synthetic tissues, organs

(Medical Xpress)—A University of Oxford spin-out, OxSyBio, will develop 3D printing techniques to produce tissue-like synthetic materials for wound healing and drug delivery. In the longer term the company ...

Survival hope for melanoma patients thanks to new vaccine

(Medical Xpress)—University of Adelaide researchers have discovered that a new trial vaccine offers the most promising treatment to date for melanoma that has spread, with increased patient survival rates and improved ability ...

Naps help infants learn

Sleep is essential in helping young children apply what they learn, according to new research by Rebecca Gómez, associate professor in the UA Department of Psychology. In this Q&A, she talks about her new ...

Robotics goes micro-scale

(Phys.org) —The development of light-driven 'micro-robots' that can autonomously investigate and manipulate the nano-scale environment in a microscope comes a step closer, thanks to new research from the ...

Biologists help solve fungi mysteries

(Phys.org) —A new genetic analysis revealing the previously unknown biodiversity and distribution of thousands of fungi in North America might also reveal a previously underappreciated contributor to climate ...