Research developed at CBMR can help to improve efficacy of chemotherapy

A group of CBMR researchers, led by Wolfgang Link, published in Nature Communications the results of an unprecedented research in the field of cancer. Recognizing the fact that intrinsic and acquired resistance to chemotherapy is a fundamental reason for treatment failure for many cancer patients, the researchers aimed to understand how cancer cells are, or become resistant, to the conventional therapies. At this article the researchers report that tribbles homolog 2 (TRIB 2) confers resistance to various chemotherapeutics by affecting critical cellular networks (PI3K and AKT) required by chemotherapy to kill cancer cells. TRIB2 does this by binding to a key protein in the cell, allowing increased cell division and repressing cell death.

Researchers also discovered that TRIB2 expression is very high in many patients and this results in an extremely poor clinical outcome. So, the study reveals a novel regulatory mechanism underlying chemotherapy drug resistance.

The discovery, which is completely unprecedented, allows to contribute to the development of new therapies for patients with high levels of this protein, helping to achieve more effective treatments and, consequently, increasing the survival rate.

The study, carried out by  Richard Hill, Patrícia Madureira, Bibiana Ferreira, Inês Baptista, Laura Colaço, Susana Machado and Wolfgang Link, also aroused the interest of Bayer, that, in 2012, gave financial support to the project.

This publication promises to revolutionize the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatments and opens doors to the emergence of personalized medicine.

Read the article here.

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