UT Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center researchers have discovered a two-drug combo that halts the growth of cancer cells that carry HER2 mutations.
The findings, published today in the journal Cancer Cell , were prompted by the observation that, after an initial response, patients with cancers harboring HER2 mutations eventually develop resistance to a promising new cancer drug currently in clinical trials.
The scientists found that another drug, already on the market, counters that resistance and blocks the cancer, thereby providing the basis for a novel drug combination against cancers with mutations in the HER2 gene.
Dhivya Sudhan, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow in the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, and collaborators evaluated data from a molecularly guided trial where patients with tumors with HER2 mutations were treated with the HER2 inhibitor neratinib. In this study, patients' cancers were sequenced as the disease progressed during treatment. Based on this analysis, Sudhan discovered in the laboratory that an effective way to offset eventual resistance to neratinib is with everolimus, a TORC1 inhibitor commonly used to treat other types of breast cancer .
This finding may give clinicians an effective response to neratinib resistance. That could make a real difference for patients with breast, ovarian, lung, and other cancers harboring HER2 mutations." Carlos L. Arteaga, M.D., Director of the Simmons Cancer Center at UT Southwestern and corresponding author of the study Related Stories
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