Drug combo could effectively treat this colon cancer

Credit: CC0 Public Domain.

Scientists from the Case Western Reserve University found that combining two cancer drugs can be effective in treating a specific type of colorectal cancer.

The research is published in Nature Communications and was conducted by Zhenghe Wang et al.

Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths, and as many as 151,000 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed in 2022, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Their study focuses on a colon cancer involving a mutation in a specific part of the PIK3CA gene, known to account for about 25,000 colorectal cancer patients—or about 15% of colorectal cancers—each year in the United States.

The team found evidence that combining the drugs Apelisib and Tazemostat to target the two signaling pathways involving these mutations was effective.

Tazemostat is a clinical drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat a type of blood cancer. The drug Apelisib, meanwhile, is FDA-approved to treat some breast cancers.

There is no targeted treatment for PIK3CA mutant colorectal cancer, and this research may lead to new therapy options.

By studying colorectal tumor cells in research models, the scientists were able to determine a two-pronged drug treatment option involving Tazemostat and Apelisib would be most effective.

Data showed that the cancer tumor continued growing in mouse models when treated with only one drug, but shrank when treated with the dual drug combination.

Based on their findings, clinical trials using the drug combination to treat this type of colorectal cancer are expected to begin on human patients later this year.

Copyright © 2022 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.