Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Genomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

One-two Combination Floors Cancer

Published: Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Bookmark and Share
A new tag-team approach to combating a type of skin cancer is showing early promise in the lab.

The scientists in Oxford and Spain investigated a two-drug combination to better target cancer cells in melanoma.

The approach uses one drug to drive melanoma cancer cells that are invasive to become sensitive to a second drug. This second drug is a new compound that is activated very specifically in melanoma cells and not other cells in the body.

'Importantly, because the new drug is only activated in melanoma cells, there should be no side effects,' says Professor Colin Goding from the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at the University of Oxford.

The first drug, methotrexate, is an existing one that is currently used for diseases such as arthritis and psoriasis. The researchers found that methotrexate stops melanoma cells spreading to other parts or the body, and also sensitises the cells to the second drug, a new compound called TMECG, which kills the cancer cells.

When given alone, neither drug has any effect. But together, the researchers show that the two drugs kill melanoma cells very effectively in the laboratory and also in animal models – including cancer cells that are resistant to current therapies.

The research team – jointly led by Professor Goding and Professor José Neptuno Rodriguez-López from the University of Murcia in Spain – have shown the potential of the technique in human cells in the lab and in mice. They have published their findings in the journal Cancer Cell.

'The work is still at an early stage,' cautions Professor Goding. 'Although this combination treatment works very effectively in animals, we still need to improve the stability of the new drug in the blood to make it effective in patients. We also need to check that there is no toxicity associated with the new drug, though our preliminary results look very good.'

The researchers believe that it will be combinations of treatment approaches like this one that will help floor cancer, and deal with the great problem of tumours acquiring resistance to cancer therapies.

'The major problem with cancers is their capacity to become resistant to therapy and to spread to many parts of the body,' explains Professor Goding. 'Resistance is caused by there being different kinds of cancers cells within tumours, some of which may be resistant to therapy.'

Melanoma is a rare and serious type of cancer that begins in the skin and can spread to other organs in the body. The most common sign of melanoma is the appearance of a new mole or a change in an existing mole. Melanoma caught early can be treated very effectively by surgery. But unfortunately there is no long-term effective therapy once the disease has spread.

'There is a new drug called vemurafenib that gives a good response for the 50% of patients whose cancers have a mutation in the BRAF gene, but resistance occurs within some months,' says Professor Goding. 'Chemotherapy is largely ineffective, and though there is some success with a new form of immunotherapy, this is still at a very early stage.'

He outlines how cancers like melanoma may need to be treated in future: 'We envisage that treating cancer must be done using combinations of therapies that work by completely different mechanisms, such that cells resistant to one therapy would be sensitive to the other.

'We may need to give these combinations sequentially or in combination. So, if therapy A kills the vast majority of cancer cells there will be only few left that are resistant to therapy A, but should still be sensitive to therapy B. Since after therapy A there are few cells that survive, there is much less chance of resistance to therapy B occurring.

'In other words to treat cancer successfully we may need to think about the way we treat a bacterial infection, with combinations of antibiotics. Combinations of anti-cancer therapies may have much more success than giving one treatment alone.'

The researchers hope that the new strategy they have identified will form one treatment approach that, in combination with others, may contribute to a successful anti-melanoma therapy that is effective in the long-term.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,200+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Identifying Drug Resistance Traits
Scientists have developed an easy-to-use computer program that can quickly analyse bacterial DNA from a patient's infection and predict which antibiotics will work, and which will fail due to drug resistance.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Faster, Cheaper TB Diagnosis
Whole Genome Sequencing is a faster, cheaper and more effective way of diagnosing tuberculosis says a new study.
Wednesday, December 09, 2015
Why we Still Don’t Have Personalised Medicine
15 years after sequencing the human genome we still do not have the promised personalised medicine, why is this?
Friday, December 04, 2015
The Secret Behind the Power of Bacterial Sex
Migration between different communities of bacteria is the key to the type of gene transfer that can lead to the spread of traits such as antibiotic resistance, according to researchers at Oxford University.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Mini DNA Sequencer’s Data Belies its Size
A miniature DNA sequencing device that plugs into a laptop and was developed by Oxford Nanopore has been tested by an open, international consortium, including Oxford University researchers.
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
New Insight into Recombination and Sex Chromosomes
Not only does the platypus have some odd physical features, an updated version of its genome has also underscored the unusual genetic characteristics that it harbors.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Protein Clue To Sudden Cardiac Death
A protein has been shown to have a surprising role in regulating the 'glue' that holds heart cells together, a finding that may explain how a gene defect could cause sudden cardiac death.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Investment In Cancer Research At Oxford University
Centre for Molecular Medicine to focus on cancer genomics and molecular diagnostics, through a partnership with the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute.
Friday, October 24, 2014
Genetic Tracking Identifies Cancer Stem Cells in Patients
The gene mutations driving cancer have been tracked for the first time in patients back to a distinct set of cells at the root of cancer – cancer stem cells.
Friday, May 16, 2014
Eating Organic Food Doesn't Lower Overall Cancer Risk
Women who always or mostly eat organic foods have the same likelihood of developing cancer as women who eat conventionally produced foods.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
New Trial of Personalized Cancer Treatment Begins in Oxford
Phase I trial in Oxford will investigate a new drug, called CXD101.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Interactive Map of Human Genetic History Revealed
Study identifies, dates and characterizes genetic mixing between populations.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Scientists Break Blood-Brain Barrier to Allow Cancer Drugs In
Oxford University scientists have found a way of delivering drugs more effectively to treat life-threatening cancers that have spread to the brain.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
'Jekyll and Hyde' Protein Offers New Route to Cancer Drugs
The mood changes of a 'Jekyll-and-Hyde' protein, which sometimes boosts tumour cell growth and at other times suppresses it, have been explained.
Friday, September 27, 2013
Genes Linked to Being Right or Left Handed Identified
A genetic study has identified a biological process that influences whether we are right handed or left handed.
Monday, September 16, 2013
Scientific News
Common Cell Transformed into Master Heart Cell
By genetically reprogramming the most common type of cell in mammalian connective tissue, researchers at the University of Wisconsin—Madison have generated master heart cells — primitive progenitors that form the developing heart.
Genetic Mutation that Prevents Diabetes Complications
The most significant complications of diabetes include diabetic retinal disease, or retinopathy, and diabetic kidney disease, or nephropathy. Both involve damaged capillaries.
Could the Food we Eat Affect Our Genes?
Almost all of our genes may be influenced by the food we eat, according to new research.
Neanderthal DNA Influences Human Disease Risk
Large-scale, evolutionary analysis compares genetic data alongside electronic health records.
Improving Regenerative Medicine
Lab-created stem cells may lack key characteristics, UCLA research finds.
Tick Genome Reveals Secrets of a Successful Bloodsucker
NIH has announced that decipher the genome of the blacklegged tick which could lead to new tick control methods.
"Dark Side" of the Transcriptome
New approach to quantifying gene "read-outs" reveals important variations in protein synthesis and has implications for understanding neurodegenerative diseases.
Individuals' Medical Histories Predicted by their Noncoding Genomes
Researchers have found that analyzing mutations in regions of the genome that control genes can predict medical conditions such as hypertension, narcolepsy and heart problems.
New Source of Mutations in Cancer
Recently, a new mutation signature found in cancer cells was suspected to have been created by a family of enzymes found in human cells called the APOBEC3 family.
Advancing Synthetic Biology
Living systems rely on a dizzying variety of chemical reactions essential to development and survival. Most of these involve a specialized class of protein molecules — the enzymes.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,200+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!