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Researchers uncover a viable way for colorectal cancer patients to overcome drug resistance
Date:4/4/2012

s. In the mice, however, ARI-4175 blocked tumor growth, and was more successful at higher doses of the drug. The research shows an even stronger effect in mice that received ARI-4175 combined with cetuximab.

Cetuximab, which is FDA-approved for metastatic colorectal cancer and some head and neck cancers, works by blocking a crucial receptor on the surface of a cancer cellcausing the cell to die. In people carrying the mutated form of the KRAS gene, cetuximab is not effective, but ARI-4175 may open up a detour around that impasse.

Borghaei notes that a cancer treatment like the immune stimulator ARI-4175, which uses the body's own defenses, may be more effective than drugs targeting tumor oncogenes that are susceptible to mutations that lead to resistance. "Tumors often develop resistance to targeted therapies," he says, "but it's more difficult to find resistance to a patient's own immune system. Bringing in the activity of the immune system might be the most effective way to fight some of these cancers."

"Our immune system can actually be a very useful partner in the fight against cancer," he says.

The researchers say their results suggest ARI-4175 warrants further testing in clinical trials. Although the researchers investigated colorectal cancer, their findings may also point to new approaches to treating other types of cancer. "If we can show that the drug overcomes resistance to cetuximab, it can be used against head and neck cancers as well," says Borghaei.


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Contact: Diana Quattrone
Diana.Quattrone@fccc.edu
215-815-7828
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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