As many as 50 percent of human cancer cases — across a wide variety of tissues — involve defects in a common cellular growth signaling pathway. These defects have so far defied most attempts to develop targeted therapies, leading some in the field to conclude that they may be “undruggable.” Now researchers at UC San Francisco and Redwood City-based Revolution Medicines, Inc, have identified a new strategy for potentially treating a subset of such intractable cancers by decoupling the entire RAS / MAP Kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway from external growth signals.
In a study published August 13, 2018, in Nature Cell Biology, the researchers showed that an experimental compound recently discovered by Revolution Medicines interferes with the first steps of the RAS / MAPK pathway and dramatically slowed cancer growth in lung, skin, colon and pancreatic cancer cell lines as well as human lung cancers grown in animal models. Based on these results, Revolution Medicines aims to rapidly advance this approach into clinical trials in human patients using a proprietary drug candidate called RMC-4630.
“RAS / MAPK is one of the most important cancer signaling pathways, but so far most attempts to develop targeted drugs against this pathway have ended
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