Catalan researchers help identify new drug to treat lung cancer
The Idibell and ICO research groups participate in international study promising effective therapy for up to 30% of sufferers
An international team of researchers, with the participation of two Catalan research groups, have identified a new medicine to treat one of the main types of lung cancer. The Bellvitge Biomedicine Research Institute (Idibell) and the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) took part in the research into the new treatment for so-called non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC).
The researchers showed that inhibiting the SHP2/PTPN11 protein with the drug, SHP099, in mice with human lung cancer and mutations in the K-ras gene, is effective. SHP2 acts as a link between the receptors tyrosine kinases of the cell membrane and the RAS-RAF-MEK-ERK pathway, of major importance in the development of tumors.
The study, which was published in the journal ‘Nature Medicine’, shows that in the subtype of NSCLC lung cancer that was studied, the use of this new inhibitor in the animal models developed at Ibidell boosts the effect of MEK protein inhibitors, which are already used in patients with advanced cases of lung cancer.
According to the researchers, the new findings open up the promise of developing a combined therapy that could be effective in a large proportion of lung cancer patients who carry mutations in the K-ras protein, who approximately account for 25–30% of all patients suffering from lung cancer.