Two-drug combination therapy could help cure cancer

Washington, July 21(ANI): A new research has shown that under certain conditions, using two drugs in a "targeted therapy"- a treatment approach designed to interrupt cancer's ability to grow and spread - could effectively cure nearly all cancers.

New research conducted by Harvard scientists is not a cure for cancer, but it does offer hope to researchers and patients alike.

"What we found is that if you have a single point mutation in the genome that can give rise to resistance to both drugs at the same time, the game is over. We need to have combinations such that there is zero overlap between the drugs," Martin Nowak, a professor of mathematics and of biology and director of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, said.

According to Nowak, for the two-drug combination to work, both drugs must be given together - an idea that runs counter to the way many clinicians treat cancer today.

To determine if a two-drug combination would work, Nowak and Bozic turned to an expansive data set supplied by clinicians at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center that showed how patients respond to single-drug therapy.

With data in hand, they were able to create computer models of how multidrug treatments would work. Using that model, they then treated a series of "virtual patients" to determine how the disease would react to the multidrug therapy.

To avoid developing drugs that are not vulnerable to the same mutation, Bozic said, pharmaceutical companies have explored a number of strategies, including using different drugs to target different pathways in cancer's development.

The study is published in the journal eLife. (ANI)


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