New drugs could also be deployed against lung and pancreatic cancers
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IMAGE: Kathrin Ciecielski and Professor Hana Algül (right) discuss the results of the study. view more 

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A new anti-cancer drug may be effective against a wider range of cancers than previously thought. Using a mouse model and samples taken from cancer patients, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has shown that a new class of drugs known as SHP2 inhibitors is also effective against aggressive, hard-to-treat tumors such as lung and pancreatic cancers. Clinical trials currently underway had previously excluded patients with these cancers.

Lung and pancreatic cancer are collectively referred to as KRAS tumors, as they share the same genetic error. This error means that the KRAS protein, involved in, among other things, cell division, no longer works properly and is always active. As a result, the cells divide out of control, leading to tumor formation. KRAS tumors make up about a third of all tumors in humans. The problem, however, is that the KRAS protein is also active and plays a crucial role in healthy cells, so that simply deactivating it with drugs is not an option.

New weapon against KRAS tumors

Prof. Hana Algül, Mildred Scheel Professor of Tumor Metabolism and Head of Gastrointestinal

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