Navigation Links
New method may allow personalized clinical trial for cancer therapies
Date:8/13/2012

A new tool to observe cell behavior has revealed surprising clues about how cancer cells respond to therapy and may offer a way to further refine personalized cancer treatments.

The approach, developed by investigators at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, shows that erlotinib a targeted therapy that acts on a growth factor receptor mutated in some lung, brain and other cancers doesn't simply kill tumor cells as was previously assumed. The drug also causes some tumor cells to go into a non-dividing (quiescent) state or to slow down their rate of division. This variability in cell response to the drug may be involved in cancer recurrence and drug resistance, the authors suggest.

The new tool, reported Aug. 12 in Nature Methods, may offer ways to improve personalized cancer therapy by predicting tumor response and testing combinations of targeted therapies in an individual patient's tumor.

In the personalized approach to cancer treatment, a patient's tumor is analyzed for a set of mutations to which there are matching drugs that act on those mutations.

This approach has worked rather well for many cancers that carry specific mutations, said senior author Vito Quaranta, M.D., professor of Cancer Biology.

"The genetics is well understood, the clinical effect is understood and the chemistry behind the therapy is understood. But there is a missing piece," said Quaranta. "Believe it or not, what is actually not understood is how cells respond to these drugs, what is actually happening."

The prevailing view has been that targeted therapies kill all the cells harboring a particular mutation.

But even if the tumor is composed entirely of genetically identical cells which is unlikely a drug will not affect all cells the same way, Quaranta explained.

"Some of these cells may die, some may just stop dividing and sit there (called quiescence), and some may keep dividing, but more slowly."

However, no current tests can provide an accurate, detailed picture of cell behavior needed to understand tumor response to drugs.

So, the investigators, led by first author Darren Tyson, Ph.D., research assistant professor of Cancer Biology, combined powerful automated, time-lapse microscopy with analytical tools and software they developed.

Using these techniques, they could capture the behavior of lung cancer cells every six to 10 minutes for up to 10 days.

As they expected, the targeted therapy erlotinib killed some cells, while others became quiescent. They observed that the drug even affected genetically identical cells (cells that arose from the same parental cell) differently.

"These cells are clearly genetically identical, as identical as they can possibly be because one cell just divided into two, but you get completely different responses: one dies and the other one doesn't," said Tyson. "This suggests that there are other things besides genetics that have to be taken into account."

What those other factors are remains unclear, but the investigators are conducting follow- up experiments to determine what might underlie this differential response.

"And presumably, it is those (quiescent) cells that ultimately result in tumor recurrence," said Tyson.

Quaranta and colleagues hope to take the technology into small clinical trials to test whether it can predict a patient's response to therapy.

"We think that we might be able to forecast what the response is going to be," Quaranta said. "We can take samples from the tumor, subject them to this assay, and since we're looking at response over time, we will have a rate of response."

This could tell oncologists how long a patient's tumor will respond to a given therapy before it recurs. Such information could also help determine which patients will require more aggressive treatment and Quaranta believes the assay will be able to test combinations of drugs on a patient's tumor cells to find the right combination to induce a response.

"We're hoping that this assay or some implementation of this assay will eventually work like a personalized clinical trial," Quaranta said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Melissa Stamm
melissa.stamm@vanderbilt.edu
615-322-4747
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study: Methodology of determining financial viability of social security
2. New method to find novel connections from gene to gene, drug to drug and between scientists
3. Newer technology to control blood sugar works better than conventional methods
4. Study suggests new screening method for sudden death in athletes
5. Meditation Method a Matter of Taste
6. New Stanford method enables sequencing of fetal genomes using only maternal blood sample
7. Electronic data methods research seeks to build a learning health care system
8. New delivery method improves efficacy of 2 common Parkinsons disease medications
9. Quick-Reversal Method May Be at Hand for New Blood Thinner
10. Safer Grilling Methods Might Cut Cancer Risk
11. Hear to see: New method for the treatment of visual field defects
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... A revolution is underway. Brooklyn-based ... experience for the millions of people who require these medical transport services annually. ... through the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS has put forth an industry-changing app ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements ... was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is ... herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June ... , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to ... is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of ... recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work ... Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was ... his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” ... He would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: RO, ... clearance for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as ... or septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is the ... fully integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and management. ... bacterial infection and PCT levels in blood can aid ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused on the ... announced that patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized ... has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor ... the third quarter of 2016, and to report ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Bracket , a ... its next generation clinical outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) ... on June 26 – 30, 2016 in Philadelphia ... electronic Clinical Outcome Assessment product of its kind to fully ... Bracket eCOA 6.0 is a flexible platform for ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: