Breast Cancer Drug Pushes Colon Cancer Cells to Their Death
News Category: Clinical News
06/09/2011 0 Comments Contact Our News Editors
A new treatment for colon cancer that combines a chemotherapy agent approved to treat breast cancer and a cancer-fighting antibody is ready for clinical trials, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.
More than 150,000 cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed each year, and about 50,000 people die from colorectal cancer yearly. Currently there are limited chemotherapy treatments for colorectal cancer with little that has been in the pipeline in recent years.
Wafik S. El-Deiry, M.D. Ph.D., American Cancer Society Research Professor and Rose Dunlap Professor and chief of hematology/oncology, and his team have tested lapatinib, a targeted chemotherapy agent currently approved for breast cancer treatment, in a new combination with artificial antibodies that mimic a natural cancer-fighting protein produced in the human body. The monoclonal antibodies mapatumumab and lexatumumab act similarly to TRAIL -- tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-related apoptosis-inducing ligand -- a naturally occurring molecule in the body that tells a cell it is time to die. TRAIL sets a process in motion that targets and shuts down tumor cells and keeps them from spreading.