A team of researchers led by Dr. Goutham Narla at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in collaboration with scientists at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, have discovered a previously unrecognized signaling network disrupted in lung cancer that can be turned back on by a novel combination of two previously approved FDA drugs. The drug combination targets a pathway to treat advanced/late stage lung cancer. The work highlights how understanding the basic mechanisms regulating cancer development and progression can lead to new uses for existing FDA approved drugs in the treatment of cancer.
"Because of the financial constraints and length of time it takes to bring new drugs through clinical trials, scientists are moving toward using existing drugs in new ways so that the process of translating the discoveries of today into the treatments of tomorrow can be accelerated," said Goutham Narla, MD, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Medicine, Institute of Transformative Molecular Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Dr. Narla is also a medical geneticist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center.
"This 'movement' in science toward using existing FDA approved drugs for new purposes in the treatment of cancer has expanded our understanding of the pathways that cause the disease and significantly accelerates our ability to treat a greater number of patients. In many instances, every month makes a difference for a patient when dealing with terminal cancer," said Dr. Narla.