Breaking the genetic resistance of lung cancer and melanoma

Source: MedicalXpress, July 2017

Researchers from Monash University and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC, New York) have discovered why some cancers – particularly lung cancer and melanoma – are able to quickly develop deadly resistance to targeted therapies.

Dr Luciano Martelotto, from the Monash University Faculty of Medicine, and his collaborators Dr Piro Lito and Yaohua Xue (MSKCC), have performed intricate DNA sequencing tests on single cells using genetic models of lung cancer and melanoma.

Lung cancer and melanoma are amongst the hardest to treat of the cancers because of their capacity to alter their genetics, developing resistance to targeted therapies. In a paper published today (TBC) in Nature Medicine, the researchers used animal models from tumours derived from patients and single-cell genomics to develop a hypothetical model of resistance, called “fitness threshold model,” that explains why and how resistance to therapy occurs in these cancers, and identified types of therapies to prevent this process from occurring.

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