Novel drug may take on lung cancer

In several kinds of cancer, malignant cells display an excess of a specific type of surface receptor, which when stimulated causes unchecked growth of such cells (SN: 9/11/04, p. 164: Available to subscribers at An Exploitable Mutation: Defect might make some lung cancers treatable).

Scientists now report that a novel agent bottles up this so-called epidermal growth factor receptor and stalls the growth of cancer cells in a lab dish. The strong results have led the researchers to begin testing the new drug, called HKI-272, in people with lung cancer that has proved resistant to two existing anticancer drugs that target the same receptor, reports Daniel A. Haber of Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Charlestown.

From the Nature Index

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