Resistance to therapy is a major problem in cancer patients as the cells that resist to therapy is at the root of tumour relapse and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. A better understanding of the mechanisms associated with resistance to therapy is essential for the development of better strategies to definitively eradicate cancer and prevent tumour relapse.
In a study published in Nature, researchers lead by Pr. Cédric Blanpain, MD/PhD, WELBIO investigator and Professor at the Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium identified a population of tumour cells that persist following drug treatment, leading to cancer relapse following treatment discontinuation in basal cell carcinoma, the most frequent skin cancer. The study also identifies a combination of drugs that can eliminate this the tumor population that resists to the therapy and prevents tumour relapse after treatment discontinuation.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common human cancer, affecting several millions of new patients each year across the world. Vismodegib, a FDA approved drug is used for the treatment of locally advanced and metastatic basal cell carcinoma in humans. Many patients treated with vismodegib experience tumour regression during treatment, but very often their tumours relapse following treatment discontinuation. The precise mechanisms
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