The study is set to prompt changes in thinking around precision medicine -- because it shows that the genetics of a patient's cancer may not always be enough to tell whether it will respond to a treatment.
The researchers are already starting to design clinical trials with both gene fault and tumour type in mind, and believe some cancer drugs that have 'failed' in one tumour type could be rescued in another with the same genetic mutation.
Scientists - Institute - Cancer - Research - London
Scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, found that cancer cells from a range of tumour types with the same genetic changes sent out different molecular signals when treated with precision medicines -- and that this affected how the cells reacted to the treatment.
Many cancers share genetic weaknesses that can be attacked using the same targeted treatments, but doctors have noticed before that these drugs weren't always equally effective in people with different tumour types.
Study - Cells - Lung - Bowel - Cancers
The new study of cells from lung, bowel and pancreatic cancers demonstrates that there are stark biological differences in the way that cancer cells from different tumour types respond to gene-targeted drugs.
The research is published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics today (Tuesday), and was funded by the National Institute for Health Research, Cancer Research UK, and the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR).
Researchers - Cancer - Cell - Types - Lab
The researchers looked at 30 different cancer cell types in the lab from bowel, lung and pancreatic tumours, measuring changes in 'on and off switch' molecules in cells linked to seven well-known cancer genes.
They found that drugs that blocked the common cancer gene PI3K, including an experimental drug discovered at the ICR called pictilisib, had varying effects in different cancer types.
Ways - PI3K - Switch
One of the ways PI3K works is to flip the off switch on a related...
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