Thursday October 24, 2019

New Therapy for Drug-Resistant Skin Cancer Suggested by Researchers

A team of researchers has managed to exploit a vulnerability in melanoma or skin cancer that develops resistance to a targeted therapy, providing a potential new therapeutic strategy to selectively kill the drug-resistant cancer cells.

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The reason for increased bleeding is not known. It may be because rivaroxaban is more 'potent', the paper published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology said. (IANS)
Representational image. Pixabay

A team of researchers has managed to exploit a vulnerability in melanoma or skin cancer that develops resistance to a targeted therapy, providing a potential new therapeutic strategy to selectively kill the drug-resistant cancer cells.

The study has shown that when cancer cells develop drug resistance, they also acquire a new vulnerability, the Xinhua reported.

The researchers, led by Rene Bernards of the Netherlands Cancer Institute and Oncode Institute in Denmark, exposed this new vulnerability in melanoma that has developed resistance to treatment with a BRAF inhibitor — a targeted therapy that blocks a signalling pathway in the cancer cell through which it gets the message to keep on dividing.

Since more than half of all melanoma patients have a mutation in this BRAF gene, the BRAF-inhibitor stops tumour growth in those patients.

But within a few months, the tumour cell adapts the original signalling pathway and becomes active again, and even hyperactive.

The researchers, however, found that the hyperactive resistant melanoma cells produced large amounts of reactive oxygen species, but cancer cells still sensitive to the drug did not do so.

Combining the new compound with vitamin D allowed certain protective genes to be expressed at much higher levels than they are in diseased cells.
Representational image, pixabay

The study, published in the journal Cell, found that the abundance of free radicals caused the resistant melanoma cells to stop dividing, but they did not die.

When tested on mice along with an existing drug, vorinostat, which is known to stimulate the production of free oxygen radicals, the researchers saw tumours shrink under the influence of the drug, the report said.

This laid the foundation for a new therapeutic strategy: Treating patients with BRAF-mutated melanoma, as usual, with signal pathway inhibitors.

When the tumour becomes resistant, stop giving those inhibitors and immediately treat the patients with vorinostat to kill the resistant cancer cells.

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“It is not a combination drug. It is very important that you first stop the signalling pathway inhibitors because they suppress the free radicals and thus eliminate the effects of vorinostat,” Bernards said. (IANS)

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Study Says, Men With Breast Cancer Face High Mortality Rates

The study used 11 years of registry data from January 1, 2004, to December 31, 2014, which included 1.8 million female and 16,025 male patients

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Other factors that might influence mortality rates among Men could be lifestyle factors, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and obesity. Pixabay

Men with breast cancer are more likely to have lower overall survival rates than their female counterparts, a study said.

“The persistent disparity, derived from an analysis of data from the National Cancer Database, suggests a possible distinct cancer biology, less effective treatment or compliance issues, and perhaps unhealthy lifestyles among men may be responsible for the lower overall survival rates,” said the study’s senior author Xiao-Ou Shu from the Vanderbilt University in the US.

The five-year mortality rate for men was 19 per cent higher than women, according to the research published in the journal JAMA Oncology.

The study used 11 years of registry data from January 1, 2004, to December 31, 2014, which included 1.8 million female and 16,025 male patients.

About 85 per cent of male breast cancer is Estrogen receptor (ER)-positive, a proportion that is higher than female breast cancer patients (75 per cent).

“That is a cancer type where patients usually fare better because we have a hormonal treatment.

“We have a lot of treatment options for that type of breast cancer. In theory, men should have better outcomes and have lower mortality as women do if the treatment is equally effective,” Shu said.

According to the researchers, previous studies have shown that men might not be as compliant with hormonal treatments as women.

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The five-year mortality rate for Men was 19 per cent higher than women, according to the research published in the journal JAMA Oncology. Pixabay

Other factors that might influence mortality rates among men could be lifestyle factors, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and obesity.

Clinical characteristics and under treatments were associated with 63 per cent of the sex-related mortality disparity.

ALSO READ: Pancreatic, Colorectal Cancer up 10% in 30 Years, Says Study

“The bottom line is that we need more studies specifically focused on male breast cancer,” Shu added. (IANS)