Acquired resistance to combination drug treatment in cancer

September 5, 2016, National University of Singapore

A team of scientists led by Dr Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Associate Professor Richie Soong from the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (CSI Singapore) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) conducted a study on acquired resistance (AQR) to combination drug treatment in cancer and found that the mechanisms of AQR for the combination drugs were different from that of the individual drugs. The findings from this study could potentially contribute to reducing AQR to combination drug treatment in cancer.

AQR is the lack of response to that occurs after months of continued treatment, often leading to the recurring. Combination drug treatment is a strategy commonly used in cancer therapy today to attack cancer more effectively through combining the effects of individual drugs and their interaction.

Traditionally, AQR to combination had been understood through studying the mechanisms of AQR to individual drugs and adding up the effects. However, by studying a combination treatment that is currently being tested in clinical trials for colorectal cancer, the research team found the mechanisms of AQR to the drugs applied in combination were different from the mechanisms of AQR to treatment with the drugs individually. A major reason was that AQR to combination treatment included the effects of the interaction of the drugs as well as the effects of the individual drugs, while AQR to the individual drugs did not include the effects of the drug interaction.

Assoc Prof Richie Soong said, "Our study sets the precedent for studying drug combinations, and not just individual drugs, to develop better strategies for treating AQR to combination therapies."

"Moving forward, we are studying the mechanism of AQR for other . We are also extending our studies to understand drug resistance in tumour models that better simulate the tumour environment. Additionally, we will also be studying cancer as a multi-factor system to help predict AQR," added Dr Bhattacharya.

The findings of the study were published in the journal Oncotarget in April 2016.

Explore further: Targeting low-oxygen patches inside lung cancer tumors could help prevent drug resistance

More information: Bhaskar Bhattacharya et al. Acquired resistance to combination treatment through loss of synergy with MEK and PI3K inhibitors in colorectal cancer, Oncotarget (2016). DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.8692

Related Stories

Targeting low-oxygen patches inside lung cancer tumors could help prevent drug resistance

August 25, 2016
With the right treatment schedule, medications known as hypoxia-activated prodrugs (HAPs) could help prevent drug resistance in a subtype of lung cancer, according to a study published in PLOS Computational Biology.

Small molecule drug combined with chemotherapy may deliver a synergistic benefit for colorectal cancer patients

January 8, 2016
A study led by researchers from the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (CSI Singapore) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) has demonstrated the efficiency of a small molecule drug, PRIMA-1met, in inhibiting the ...

HIV drug could stop skin cancer becoming drug-resistant

March 14, 2016
An HIV drug could stop one of the early changes in skin cancer cells that leads to them becoming resistant to treatment, according to a Cancer Research UK-funded study published in Cancer Cell today.

Nanotechnology and math deliver two-in-one punch for cancer therapy resistance

June 23, 2016
Math, biology and nanotechnology are becoming strange, yet effective bed-fellows in the fight against cancer treatment resistance. Researchers at the University of Waterloo and Harvard Medical School have engineered a revolutionary ...

Research identifies first step in design of new anti-cancer drugs

March 9, 2016
New research has identified a first step in the design of a new generation of anti-cancer drugs that include an agent to inhibit resistance to their effectiveness.

Scientist finds drug combination that stops growth of breast cancer cells

December 5, 2014
Dalhousie Medical School's Dr. Paola Marignani and her team have successfully tested a combination of drugs that shuts down aggressive, metabolically active HER2-positive breast cancers.

Recommended for you

Cancer comes back all jacked up on stem cells

March 19, 2018
After a biopsy or surgery, doctors often get a molecular snapshot of a patient's tumor. This snapshot is important - knowing the genetics that cause a cancer can help match a patient with a genetically-targeted treatment. ...

A small, daily dose of Viagra may reduce colorectal cancer risk

March 19, 2018
A small, daily dose of Viagra significantly reduces colorectal cancer risk in an animal model that is genetically predetermined to have the third leading cause of cancer death, scientists report.

Researchers create a drug to extend the lives of men with prostate cancer

March 16, 2018
Fifteen years ago, Michael Jung was already an eminent scientist when his wife asked him a question that would change his career, and extend the lives of many men with a particularly lethal form of prostate cancer.

Machine-learning algorithm used to identify specific types of brain tumors

March 15, 2018
An international team of researchers has used methylation fingerprinting data as input to a machine-learning algorithm to identify different types of brain tumors. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team ...

Higher doses of radiation don't improve survival in prostate cancer

March 15, 2018
A new study shows that higher doses of radiation do not improve survival for many patients with prostate cancer, compared with the standard radiation treatment. The analysis, which included 104 radiation therapy oncology ...

Joint supplement speeds melanoma cell growth

March 15, 2018
Chondroitin sulfate, a dietary supplement taken to strengthen joints, can speed the growth of a type of melanoma, according to experiments conducted in cell culture and mouse models.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.