Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
PZ HTL SA
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC

New Drug Combo Could Prevent Head and Neck Cancer in High-Risk Patients

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 12 Mar 2013
Image: The arrows point to cancerous lymph nodes on both sides of the neck (Photo courtesy of the [US] National Cancer Institute).
Image: The arrows point to cancerous lymph nodes on both sides of the neck (Photo courtesy of the [US] National Cancer Institute).
A new combination of drugs has demonstrated potential in reducing the risk for patients with advanced oral precancerous lesions to develop squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.

“Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck [SCCHN] is the most common type of head and neck cancer,” said Dong Moon Shin, MD, professor of hematology, medical oncology and otolaryngology at Emory University School of Medicine (Atlanta, GA, USA), and director of the Cancer Chemoprevention Program at Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University. “The survival rate for patients with SCCHN is very poor. An effective prevention approach is desperately needed, especially since we can identify patients who are at extremely high risk: those with advanced oral precancerous lesions.”

Based on earlier research suggesting a role for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in promoting SCCHN, Dr. Shin and colleagues believed combining an EGFR inhibitor and a COX-2 inhibitor could provide an effective chemopreventive approach. They found that the combination of the EGFR inhibitor erlotinib and the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib was more effective for inhibiting the growth of human SCCHN cell lines compared with either drug alone. Moreover, treating mice with the drug combination prior to transplanting them with human SCCHN cells more effectively suppressed cancer cell growth than did pretreating the mice with either drug alone.

Dr. Shin and colleagues, based on these preclinical analyses, initiated a phase I chemoprevention trial. Eleven patients with advanced oral precancerous lesions were assigned to treatment with erlotinib and celecoxib. Tissue samples from the patients were taken and assessed pathologically at 3, 6, and 12 months after the start of therapy. Biopsies at baseline and follow-up were available for seven patients. The study’s findings, which included preclinical and clinical analyses, were published February 2013 in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Pathologic examination of the biopsies indicated that three of the seven patients had a complete pathologic response; that is, there was no longer evidence of the precancerous lesions in the follow-up biopsy sample. Among the other patients, two had a partial pathologic response and two had progressive disease. “Finding that this drug combination caused some advanced premalignant lesions to completely disappear was great news,” remarked Dr. Shin. “Advanced premalignant lesions rarely regress, so our data are proof-of-principle that a combination chemopreventive strategy with molecularly targeted agents is possible.”

Several patients dropped out of the trial because of severe adverse side effects, according to Dr. Shin. “Prevention is not achieved through short-term treatment,” he said. “So, we need to investigate the safety and toxicity of this combination further before planning a large-scale trial. We are also looking to combination therapies using less toxic or nontoxic agents, such as natural compounds.”

Related Links:

Emory University School of Medicine




BIOSIGMA S.R.L.
RANDOX LABORATORIES
SLAS - Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening
comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: The Human Protein Atlas is tissue-based map of the human proteome (Photo courtesy of the Human Protein Atlas).

Open Source Tissue-Based Map of the Human Proteome Launched

Constructed with 13 million annotated images, an interactive database has been created to show the distribution of proteins in all major tissues and organs of the human body. Ten years after the completion... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel

Blocking Enzyme Switch Turns Off Tumor Growth in T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Researchers recently reported that blocking the action of an enzyme “switch” needed to activate tumor growth is emerging as a practical strategy for treating T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. An estimated 25% of the 500 US adolescents and young adults diagnosed yearly with this aggressive disease fail to respond to... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel

e-Incubator Technology Provides Real-Time Imaging of Bioengineered Tissues in a Controlled Unit

A new e-incubator, an innovative miniature incubator that is compatible with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), enables scientists to grow tissue-engineered constructs under a controlled setting and to study their growth and development in real time without risk of contamination or damage. Offering the potential to test... Read more

Business

view channel

Two Industry Partnerships Initiated to Fuel Neuroscience Research

Faster, more complex neural research is now attainable by combining technology from two research companies. Blackrock Microsystems, LLC (Salt Lake City, UT, USA), a developer of neuroscience research equipment, announced partnerships with two neuroscience research firms—PhenoSys, GmbH (Berlin, Germany) and NAN Instruments, Ltd.... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.