Researchers uncover protein that drives resistance to cancer treatment
- Data published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation has identified the Cripto 1 protein as the underlying cause of resistance to Tarceva (erlotinib), used for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.
- Overexpression of Cripto 1 makes lung cancer cells resistant to Tarceva, an EGFR inhibitor.
- Researchers have found that Src inhibitors can overcome the effect of Cripto 1 on Tarceva. Clinical trial preparation is underway.
Researchers at Georgetown and the National Cancer Institute have been working to better understand the intrinsic resistance that develops in a high percentage of NSCLC patients treated with Tarceva. In current clinical practice, Tarceva extends life in NSCLC patients but eventually stops working, often because of resistance. By adding on Src inhibitor therapy to block the effect of Cripto 1, there is the possibility of blocking resistance and further extending lifespan.
The drug that researchers used to conduct the study is no longer available, but they have identified at least one Src inhibitor -- a drug that is already FDA-approved for the treatment of myelogenous leukemia -- that may be useful.
- Georgetown University RESISTANCE TO LUNG CANCER TARGETED THERAPY CAN BE REVERSED, STUDY SUGGESTS