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: AstraZeneca cancer drug, companion test approved

More information: www.jci.org/articles/view/3753… 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

Putting the brakes on cancer

Dec 19, 2014

A study led by the University of Dundee, in collaboration with researchers at our University, has uncovered an important role played by a tumour suppressor gene, helping scientists to better understand how ...

Peanut component linked to cancer spread

Dec 19, 2014

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that a component of peanuts could encourage the spread and survival of cancer cells in the body.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.