Although the most common type of lung cancer – non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) – has recently seen major treatment advances in some genetic subtypes, other subtypes continue to evade effective treatment.
Now, a new study in mice has shown that cancers with Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS)-related gene mutations might benefit from a triple therapy with two experimental drugs plus radiation therapy.
According to professor of Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University Bo Lu, although further research in human subjects is needed to confirm the finding, the study suggests that there is a possibility to identify non-small cell lung cancer patients who are likely to benefit most from this combination of therapies.
In order to help make these resistant KRAS mutants more susceptible to therapy, the researchers combined the KRAS-targeting drug with another drug that would undo the effects of the p16 mutation.
Currently, neither of two drugs that target KRAS and proteins in the p16 pathway has been approved for use in lung cancer but it is hopeful that this research will help identify the patients who could potentially benefit from a triple-therapy treatment.
The study is published in the Journal Clinical Cancer Research.