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SU2C researcher identifies potential treatment option for melanoma
Date:11/21/2013

November 21, 2013 New York, NY / Los Angeles, CA: Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), the charitable initiative supporting ground-breaking research aimed at getting new cancer treatments to patients in an accelerated timeframe, announces that the Allan H. (Bud) and Sue Selig Stand Up To Cancer Melanoma Innovative Research Grant Recipient Roger S. Lo, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Medicine at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has published two studies in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research which indicate that treatment using combinatory therapy may be effective in suppressing drug resistance in the treatment of melanoma.

Although most of the melanomas that harbor BRAF mutations respond dramatically to treatment with BRAF inhibitors, nearly all develop resistance to the drugs in less than a year, and previous studies showed that melanomas alter a cell signaling pathway called the MAPK pathway to become resistant. The new data published by Lo suggest a second pathway called the PI3K-PTEN-AKT pathway may also be altered and thus, a combinatorial therapy approach to target the two core survival pathways when treatment is initiated may suppress drug resistance.

"About 50 percent of melanomas are driven by mutations in the BRAF gene, and about 60-80 percent of these melanomas initially respond to BRAF inhibitors such as vemurafenib and dabrafenib, but most develop resistance within seven to eight months," said Dr. Lo. "Our goal is to study comprehensively how this cancer escapes from BRAF inhibitors, so we can design new treatment approaches to overcome this resistance.

"It is very exciting to see work funded under a Stand Up To Cancer Innovative Research Grant (IRG) yield these important results," stated Sherry Lansing, co-founder & member of the SU2C Council of Founders and Advisors. "We created the IRG program
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Contact: Jane E. Rubinstein
jrubinstein@rubenstein.com
212-843-8287
Rubenstein Associates, Inc.
Source:Eurekalert  

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