Triple-therapy treatment consisting of two experimental drugs and a radiation therapy may fight lung cancer that are resistant to current treatments. 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, researchers said. Roughly 85 % of all lung cancers belong to NSCLC type. Although there are some major advances in treating of this disease, only 2% of survivors live 5 years beyond treatment.

Now, a new study in mice has shown that cancers with Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS)- related gene mutation might benefit from a triple therapy with two experimental drugs and a radiation therapy.

According to the 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 the NSCLC cancer patients who are likely to benefit most from this combination of therapies.

“Currently there is a clinical trial underway to evaluate the combination of two cancer drugs, trametinib and palbociclib, made by two pharma companies for patients with solid tumors and melanoma,” said Bo Lu.

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 research could help identify the patients who could potentially benefit from a triple-therapy treatment.

The study is published in the Journal Clinical Cancer Research.

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