The study shows detailed molecular fingerprinting that links genetic mutations found in the patients' tumors to the cell lines that are derived from these tumors. If any question arises in the future as to whether the newly created cell lines have become contaminated by other cancers, researchers can use the Mayo Clinic data to confirm the origin of the cells.
This matters, the researchers say, because advances in cancer treatment depend on the testing that is first undertaken in cell lines, and, therefore, the cell lines must be pure. "We want to test different drugs against each cell line in which specific pathways are activated to see the effects," says endocrinologist Robert Smallridge, M.D., the other co-principal author. "Each of those different combinations of molecular abnormalities is going to generate a different set of potential targets that can be attacked through drug therapy."
Dr. Smallridge believes that within a few years it will be possible to genetically analyze each patient's ATC tumor in real time, and match its molecular profile to potential drugs. "No two tumors may match each other, but by understanding through a systems biology approach the multiple pathways that are active in the cancer, and then using a combination of drugs that inhibit these pathways simultaneously, we will begin to make progress against this cancer," he says.
This is the essence of "bench-to-bedside" therapy, according to the study's lead investigator, Laura Marlow, M.S.
According to Marlow, not only did the study report development of the cell lines, a project she led, it also tested five different drugs in these new cells lines for potential benefit. The researchers found that all of these agents, everything from an approved cholesterol lowering agent to experimental transferase inhibitors, reactivated a tumor suppressor gene called RhoB, leading to growth supp
|Contact: Kevin Punsky|