According to the new study, if the drugs used to treat breast and lung cancer are combined, they overcome resistance to treatment. The study is published in the Journal Oncogene and was funded by Wellcome. It highlighted that combination of these two drugs was more effective against cancer cells than their solo use.
Scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, London (ICR) and UCL Cancer Institute discovered resistance to palbociclib is driven by a protein which is targeted by crizotinib. The combined agents acted together for blocking cancer cells. Palbociclib is one of those groups of drugs that are used to treat patients with harmone receptors by blocking the function of two proteins: CDK4 and CDK6.
Scientists discovered that when the breast cancer drug palbociclib was combined with lung cancer drug crizotinib, the combination was significantly more effective against cancer cells than either drug used.
The researchers speculated that combining the two drugs could overcome CDK2’s tumor-feeling mechanism. The treatment was tested in cancer cells that grown in the laboratory and humor tumors that transplanted into mice. They discovered that MET and FAK are critical molecules in signaling pathway that is used by tumors to survive.
Study co-leader Professor Paul Workman, chief executive of the ICR, said: “Cancer’s ability to adapt, evolve and become drug resistant is the biggest challenge we face in creating more effective treatments for the disease. In this study, we sought to understand exactly how resistance occurs to an important family of breast cancer drugs, so that we can stay one step ahead of the cancer. We have shown the potential of combining two precision medicines for breast and lung cancer together to create a two-pronged attack that strips cancer cells of their resistance.”