Dr. Melnick Explains No Two Tumors are Alike: A Personalized Approach for Targeting Cancer Tumors
November 30, 2011
Dr. Melnick and colleagues have received a multi-investigator collaborative grant from the National Cancer Institute in support of clinical trials for the treatment of cancer; this, following their most recent discovery involving a tumor-targeting compound known as PU-H71, which was published in Nature Chemical Biology. Currently, patients are being recruited for the first clinical trial to test the safety of PU-H71 as a drug used for the treatment of a variety of tumors. Subsequent trials will include patients with cancers such as breast, lymphomas, and chemotherapy-resistant leukemia.
Specifically, the researchers have uncovered that PU-H71 can reveal, with great accuracy, the set of altered pathways contributing to malignancy, thus allowing physicians to "fish-out" entire networks of abnormal proteins in tumor cells. PU-H71 binds to these abnormal protein complexes which are part of protein networks supporting cancer cell growth, division and survival. This knowledge could lead to more targeted, effective and individualized therapies for the personalized treatment of cancer - a disease in which no two tumors are alike - while producing fewer side effects and ultimately sparing patients from undergoing chemotherapy.
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