Scientists at the Salk Institute have discovered a powerful one-two punch for countering a common genetic mutation that often leads to drug-resistant cancers. The dual-drug therapy–with analogs already in use for other diseases–doubled the survival rate of mice with lung cancer and halted cancer in pancreatic cells.
A mutation of the KRAS gene leads to a common and hard-to-treat lung cancer. A new combination therapy (lipophilic bisphosphonate and rapamycin) administered to mice for 40 days resulted in shrunken tumor size (right).
Credit: Salk Institute
In addition to Verma and Xia, authors on the paper included Shen Shen, Narayana Yeddula, Wolfgang Fischer and William Low of the Salk Institute; Yi-Liang Liu, Wei Zhu, Francisco Guerra and Eric Oldfield of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Yonghua Xie, Xiaoying Zhou and Yonghui Zhang of the Tsinghua University.
The work was funded by the National Institutes of Health, Ipsen Biomeasure, the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation and the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.