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A fresh look at existing therapies: Researchers explore ways to teach approved drugs new tricks
Date:10/24/2007

cellular proteins upstream or downstream of mTOR is critical in the process of cancer progression.

Together, the two therapeutics seem to have a synergistic effect in human sarcomas, combined they function more strongly than either drug alone, said Raushan T. Kurmasheva, Ph.D., a post-doctoral fellow at St. Jude. We are looking to extend our studies to include more sarcoma models, but we believe this looks like a promising clinical application for these drugs.

A Fresh Look at Existing Therapies: Researchers Explore Ways to Teach Approved Drugs New Tricks

According to Kurmasheva, the combined therapy could be a breakthrough in treatment of human sarcomas in general and childhood sarcomas, in particular. Both Ewings sarcoma and osteosarcoma are cancers of the bone and connecting tissue that are most frequently diagnosed in teens. Rhabdomyosarcoma is a rare disease that primarily affects children between the ages of one and five, but which can also strikes adolescents. While prognosis for childhood sarcomas is generally good, if caught early, children with these diseases face a grim prognosis if the cancer metastasizes, Kurmasheva says.

With support from the National Cancer Institute and Pfizer, the St. Jude researchers began their study in cell cultures of both cancer types. The antibody, alone, significantly retarded cell growth, they found. In animal models of sarcoma, both drugs curbed tumor growth. The two drugs combined, however, induced complete regression of established tumors. Due to the encouraging results, Kurmasheva and her colleagues are looking to expand their research to other animal models as well as look for biomarkers that could indicate positive response to treatment in a clinical setting.


Therapeutic effects of the anti-CD74 mAb, milatuzumab, compared to anti-CD20 antibodies, in B-cell lymphomas: Abstract no. 267

If one monoclonal antibody has revolutionized treatment of
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Contact: Greg Lester
greg.lester@aacr.org
267-646-0554
American Association for Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert

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