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Capable of rapidly developing resistance to therapeutic drugs, cancer often manages to render those drugs ineffective in slowing its progress. KNI Board member Jim Heath and colleagues have new research that suggests that the right combination of drugs could potentially overcome this resistance and stop a tumor in its tracks.
"The concept is that if you block a key node in the pathway, then the communication can't proceed and the cells can't get the signals to divide and multiply," explains Jim Heath, the Elizabeth W. Gilloon Professor of Chemistry and co-corresponding author on the paper.
In reality, however, tumors can become resistant to a drug even if the drug works exactly as designed. With GBM, such resistance develops in almost every patient. "In some patients, you can treat with a drug that does everything you could want it to do, but you would never know that the drug hit the target because the tumor adapts so quickly," Heath says.