Study: Double-drug strategy blocks escape route for most lung cancers
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IMAGE: A new study demonstrated that using two currently available drugs could be an effective treatment for the majority of lung cancers. The bottom row shows tumors treated with the drug… view more 

Credit: UT Southwestern

DALLAS – April 3, 2018 – A one-two combo punch using two currently available drugs could be an effective treatment for the majority of lung cancers, a study by scientists with UT Southwestern’s Simmons Cancer Center shows.

Researchers found that a combination of drugs – one targeting epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and one targeting tumor necrosis factor (TNF) – effectively blocks the cancer from using TNF as an escape route. Using a mouse model, the researchers showed that when TNF is also blocked, the cancer becomes sensitive to EGFR treatment.

“There has been a tremendous effort over the past several years to block EGFR as a treatment for lung cancer, but this therapy only works in a small subset of patients. The cancer fights back with a bypass pathway,” said senior author Dr. Amyn Habib with the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern and a staff physician at the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

“Blocking both of these proteins

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