New Promise Against Certain Types Of Lung Cancer – Part 2 of 3
That has led some researchers to nave on developing drugs that target those specific abnormalities. “Being able to inhibit those kinases and disrupt their signaling is evolving into a very successful approach”.
The good news is that drugs such as crizotinib seem to trade well in patients with the mutation, noted Dr Roman Perez-Soler, chairman of the department of oncology at Montefiore Medical Center and professor of medicine and molecular pharmacology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. But the unhappy news is that it means that patients who don’t have the specific mutation won’t be helped.
Only an estimated 2 percent to 7 percent of non-small-cell lung cancers have the ALK mutation, according to the study. “This is great intelligence for people with this type of tumor,” Perez-Soler said. “Researchers have identified a group of patients, unfortunately a small group, who because of a very specific genetic uncommonness are extremely sensitive to these targeted treatments and as a result of that can benefit from this drug without toxicity. It’s very encouraging”.
In a second study in the same journal, crizotinib was effective in a 44-year-old man with inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor, a scanty form of sarcoma, which is also driven by the ALK abnormality who was senior author of that paper. Still, there are caveats. Over time, tumors can adapt to such targeted therapy, eventually portrayal it ineffective.
In fact, a third study in the same journal identified ways in which lung cancers had already started to mutate and overcome crizotinib. Moreover, while drugs targeting a specific tumor genotype are promising, there could be so many abundant genotypes that it would be impractical to come up with drugs targeting all of them, Perez-Soler said. Still other tumors might be fueled by multiple abnormalities.