Researchers all over the world are continuously been working towards finding effective treatments and therapies for lung cancer. There are widely two types of lung cancer: small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Most patients suffering from SCLC initially respond to chemotherapy or immunotherapy but usually, the cancer comes back. They then are not able to respond to additional treatment. The current treatment options for patients with SCLC are limited. The researchers have identified a new combination of two drugs that can work to shrink the tumors of patients with SCLC.
The new combination includes chemotherapy drug Topotecan and Berzosertib. While Topotecan is FD approved for some patients with SCLC and Berzosertib is an investigational drug which inhibits a protein to help in repairing damaged DNA. This combination therapy worked out to shrank tumors in 9 out of 25 SCLC patients in the NCL-supported clinical trial. The results were published in Cancer Cell. Encouraged by these results, they expanded the trial to study patients whose small cell lung cancers originated outside the lungs. Three out of 10 patients’ tumors shrank in response of the treatment.
“We were quite surprised by the responses of patients whose cancers had developed resistance to chemotherapy,” said lead researcher Anish Thomas, M.D., of NCI’s Center for Cancer Research. “Learning that these patients could stay on the combination therapy for months was the most exciting finding of the study,” he added. He says that these new findings could pave the way for more personalized treatment for patients with SCLC. A separate clinical trial will evaluate the combination therapy’s effects, specifically in patients whose SCLCs are resistant to platinum-based chemotherapy and it will be sponsored by the EMD Serono Research & Development Institute.
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