Treatment of endometrial cancer that not only stops the growth of tumours but also kills the cancer cells has been announced by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in the US.
TGen scientists and collaborators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that introducing a particular inhibitor drug can turn off receptors responsible for the growth of tumours in a significant number of patients.
The inhibitor drug was effective even in tumours containing a commonly occurring mutant gene, PTEN, previously associated with resistance to drug treatment.
The findings appear in a paper published as a priority report by Cancer Research, a Philadelphia-based peer-reviewed journal dedicated to original cancer research.
The team discovered alterations in the fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2) gene, present in the cancer cells of nearly 15% of women with endometrioid endometrial tumours.
A commercially-available inhibitor drug, PD173074, stopped the growth of tumours, and even destroyed cancer cells, in cases where the tumours contained the altered FGFR2 gene. The altered gene causes the receptors to get stuck in the “on” position and signal the endometrial cells to grow out of control.
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