Small cell lung cancer is one of the deadly diseases and now scientists may have promising new avenue as they have been able to effectively stop the growth of small cell lung cancer in tests on mice through an experimental combination of two drugs. After the promising results, human trials are being planned. One drug, cyclophosphamide, has been largely abandoned for the treatment since 1980s as it was replaced by alternatives having fewer side effects.
Now in this research, the team has been able to identify how small cell lung cancer cells resist the effects of Cyclophosphamide. The technique developed by them blocks the repair process which is used by cancer cells to build up Cyclophosphamide resistance.
Pathologist and immunologist Nima Mosammaparast of Washington University in St. Louis said, “The problem is that these tumors initially respond to treatment, but then come back. That hasn’t changed in 30 years. These tumors are extremely resistant to just about anything.” “One of the challenges we will face is convincing doctors to go back to the old drug, but the good thing about this strategy is that it can work where current treatments have failed,” Mosammaparast adds.
These new findings are build on the previous research from the same team that identified protein RNF113A being involved in cancer cells repair. This new study shows that combining a new target with an old drug can reduce resistance and potentially make the lung cancer treatment much better. It’s been tested only in mice and scientists want to continue experimenting to see if they can lower the levels of cyclophosphamide to limit the toxic side effects. It is also clear that the drugs that replaced cyclophosphamide are no better at fighting against small cell lung cancer.
After this study, the researchers are now planning to organize phase-one clinical trials in humans. One of the important aspects showed by the study is that it may work on cancers that have already become resistant to some treatments. The study was published in Cancer Discovery.
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