Verastem Inc, focused on discovering and developing drugs to treat cancer by the targeted killing of cancer stem cells, announced that a paper, entitled “Merlin Deficiency Predicts FAK Inhibitor Sensitivity: A Synthetic Lethal Relationship,” has been published by Verastem scientists in the latest issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine.
The paper describes the finding that loss of the tumor suppressor merlin predicts for increased responsiveness to drugs targeting cancer stem cells through inhibition of focal adhesion kinase (FAK). Since merlin loss is particularly prevalent in mesothelioma (approximately 50% of patients), the efficacy of FAK inhibition was demonstrated in several
Madison, Wisconsin – More than a decade of laboratory research at the University of Wisconsin has proven that a single chemical compound may both detect and treat malignant tumors and certain cancer stem cells.
In three posters presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in Chicago, March 31-April 4, UW-Madison researchers describe exciting advances involving CLR1404, described as a “diapeutic” agent that can both image and destroy a wide range of malignant tumors and the one type of cancer stem cells examined so far.
The presentations are based on basic research in the lab of
Scientists have found the first “conclusive evidence” of the existence of cancer stem cells in humans, in a discovery which could put an end to years of scientific controversy and pave the way for more effective cancer treatments which could attack the disease “at the root” (…)
The existence of cancer stem cells – mutated stem cells responsible for the development and growth of cancers – has been hypothesised for decades, and their existence in mice was established two years ago. Whether or not they are also responsible for the growth of cancers in humans has remained controversial (…)
December 4, 2009- Working with mice, scientists at Johns Hopkins publishing in the December issue of Neoplasia have shown that a protein made by a gene called “Twist” may be the proverbial red flag that can accurately distinguish stem cells that drive aggressive, metastatic breast cancer from other breast cancer cells.
Building on recent work suggesting that it is a relatively rare subgroup of stem cells in breast tumors that drives breast cancer, scientists have surmised that this subgroup of cells must have some very distinctive qualities and characteristics.
Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have found that a cancer gene linked to aggressive spread of the disease promotes breast cancer stem cells. The finding implies a new way to target the behavior of these lethal cells.
The finding involves the cancer gene RhoC, which has previously been shown to promote metastasis of many types of cancer. RhoC levels increase as breast cancer progresses and high levels of RhoC are associated with worse patient survival.
Cancer stem cells are the small number of cells within a tumor that are believed to fuel the tumor’s growth