A new study has found that a triple therapy treatment comprising of 2 experimental drugs and radiation therapy may combat lung cancers that are resistant to current treatments.
Lung cancer- non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has seen major treatment advances in few genetic subtypes. Around 85 percent of lung cancers belong to the NSCLC type. Though there have been some advances in treating the disease, only 2 percent of survivors live five years beyond the treatment. Drugs will target the ALK- and EGFR-mutated subtypes and are effective; however, NSCLCs with mutations are resistant to conventional and targeted therapies.
New study in mice has shown that cancers with KRAS-related gene mutations might get treated from a triple therapy with two drugs along with radiation therapy.
A clinical trial is ongoing to evaluate the combination of two cancer drugs trametinib and palbociclib, for patients with solid tumors and melanoma, stated Bo Lu, Professor of Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University in US.
Researchers studied the KRAS-mutant subset in NSCLC cells and found a variation; few were resistant to a drug that targeted the KRAS gene pathway. A mutation in a protein termed p16 appeared to be responsible for the difference.
Researchers found that patient with the p16 mutation had a lower survival rate than those without the mutation. To make resistant KRAS mutants more susceptible to therapy, the researchers used the KRAS-targeting drug with another drug that would affect the p16 mutation.
They said that the combination of two drugs make these resistant cancer cells vulnerable to radiation treatment. Research could identify the patients who could benefit from a triple-therapy treatment.