Study reveals mechanism underlying decreased sensitivity to targeted lung cancer therapy

Share this content:

Researchers have discovered new mechanisms of resistance to targeted lung cancer, according to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2010 Aug 31;107(35):15535-40).

To investigate the modes of tumor resistance to targeted therapies, Raffaella Sordella, PhD, an assistant professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and her team focused on erlotinib, a small-molecule drug approved by the FDA for patients with difficult-to-treat cancers, including non-small lung cancer (NSCLC) and pancreatic cancer.

Researchers found that the population of NSCLC cells within untreated tumors resistant to erlotinib accounted for about 3% of the tumor samples studied. The team reported that this finding is suggestive of something scientists call EMT: the transition of normal epithelial cells to mesenchymal cells, which are cells with an increased metastatic potential.

The team continued their study and explored whether inflammation mediated by non-cancer cells in the tumor microenvironment might also play a role in resistance to erlotinib and confirmed their predictions.

“Why IL-6 seems to be required for the survival of the cancer cells is not yet clear,” Dr. Sordella concluded. “We hypothesize that it plays a role in protecting cells from programmed cell-death, or apoptosis. We expect to investigate the possibility in future studies.”

You must be a registered member of ONA to post a comment.

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters

Regimen and Drug Listings


Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Genitourinary Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Rare Cancers Regimens
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs