A brief synopsis of a new study published in Oncogene revealed that a triple-drug combination therapy may reduce the amount of drug resistance in patients with colorectal cancer. Researchers treated a panel or 40 human colorectal cancer lines with MEK-, PI3k-, and ERK- inhibitors, which block pathways that are commonly active in colorectal tumors.
The results showed that the MEK-PI3K inhibitor combination stopped cell growth. The cells that were resistant to therapy could also be treated with an ERK-Pi3K treatment, but they later developed a resistance to that therapy as well. Adding a low dose of navitoclax, a BCL2-family inhibitor, to the MEK-PI3K regimen, previously untreated cells had a better reaction between the therapies and blocked resistance.
The early findings of this study suggest that the triple-combination therapy could help to prevent future drug resistance rather than combating resistance already present. Subsequent studies will explore variables of timing, dosage, and tolerability.
According to the team, “It is possible that the addition of a third agent may be tolerated clinically in such a dosing regimen and provide the opportunity to overcome, or ameliorate, the major clinical problem of resistance to targeted therapies.”