What is worse than being a cancer patient is finding out that the cancer has developed a new type of resistance to conventional drugs and has practically become impossible to cure. This is certainly bad news for patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma who use vemurafenib to treat their illness. On the other hand, Harvard researchers have found that palbociclib, which is used to treat another type of cancer can overcome this drug resistance. Check the journal at SCImago Journal & Country Rank.
A typical indication of thyroid cancer is a mutation in BRAF. Patients with this kind of mutation have usually been treated with vemurafenib. However, recently, these patients who show positive signs develop this kind of drug resistance, which makes the cancer spread even more.
Similar research by the same team in the past has shown that the loss of the P16 gene combined with vemurafenib-resistant thyroid cancer cells may cause the cancer to grow even when treated with vemurafenib, which represents a setback for PTC patients.
P16 is responsible for cells dividing through the prevention of the development of a protein named CDK4/6. The team considered the possibility of preventing drug resistance by replicating the effect of P16. They chose palbociclib, an FDA approved drug that prevents the formation of CDK4/6.
As soon as the research team started treating PTC patients who developed vemurafenib resistance by combining both palbociclib and vemurafenib, they discovered that these two can produce better results by speeding cell death than when vemurafenib was used alone to treat these patients.
Moreover, researchers also discovered another novel way of treating vemurafenib resistance through a special genetic factor that exists in the cells. Listen to an audio podcast of Oncotarget on Itunes.
Additionally, they said that the combination of vemurafenib and palbociclib is an excellent strategy to target cancer cells in PTC positive patients via a particular resistance.
The results obtained during the Oncotarget research process support the idea that combining both of these drugs in clinical trials will advance the progress that is made in treating PTC patients.
The progress that is made by medical teams so far through similar studies and research on PTC is promising and could produce positive results in the future.
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/journals/1558/