Lung cancer is globally accepted as a leading cause of cancer deaths.
Across the globe, scientists are continuously attempting to find a way to combat Lung cancer. SCLA or Small cell Lung Cancer comprises 85% of the Lung cancers. KRAS oncogene was held responsible for SCLA. The mutation in the KRAS gene is one of the major causes of SCLA. Finding a way to remove its teeth would be pivotal in the treatment of many types of cancers.
In search of a cure, scientists concluded that it would be much beneficial to attack the pathways related to this oncogene, rather than attacking the gene directly. Thus they experimented with the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway, which is responsible for nutrient uptake into the cancer cell. They also recognized two genes viz. Irs1 and Irs2; these encode “adaptor” proteins, which are required for the smooth running of the insulin/IGF-1 pathway.
The scientists concluded that KRAS activation along with the deletion of two genes Irs1 and Irs2 would be a pivotal step in eliminating cancer. Now, Drugs that inhibit protein breakdown are already approved & available. When the two points of the attack were combined, the results were encouraging. They also found that the tumor cells lacking Irs1 and Irs2 genes did not grow well, in addition when inhibitors were added the growth was suppressed.
The scientists suggested that a new combination of existing chemotherapy drugs could be effective against the Lung Tumors. Thus the new treatment regimen for Lung cancer would comprise IGF-1 inhibitors with autophagy inhibitors or proteasome inhibitors.
The first drug, erlotinib (Tarceva), blocks the growth pathway of a tumor and the other drug “alisertib” prevents chromosomes from splitting normally during cell division, causing cell death.
These drugs already exist and used extensively for the treatment of cancer, but the effects of a combination of these two existing drugs are encouraging and could be the new treatment option for SCLA.
The combined use of existing drugs for Lung cancer treatment is the upcoming treatment regimen for Lung cancer treatment.
Let us make a quick review of the facts about this new regimen to treat Lung cancer-
Small Cell Lung cancer(SCLC) comprises 85% of the Lung cancers
The mutation in the KRAS oncogene results in Lung cancer
Scientist found a way to block the growth as well as the KRAS gene activation, in order to achieve a complete hold over a tumor
They concluded that the dual attack of existing drugs can potentially destroy a tumor
Side effects of this regimen are manageable
The new regimen for Lung cancer treatment comprises of “IGF-1 inhibitor drugs” with proteasome inhibitor drugs.