Colorectal cancer is currently treated with combination chemotherapy, resulting in side effects and resistance to the therapy. By using statistical analysis and experimental testing, an optimal low-dose synergistic combination of targeted drugs was identified for the treatment of colorectal cancer. This combination therapy outperforms standard chemotherapy without induction of side-effects and prevents drug-induced resistance.
Amsterdam UMC colleagues prof. Arjan Griffioen, dr. Judy van Beijnum, prof. Connie Jimenez and former Amsterdam UMC colleague prof. Patrycja Nowak-Sliwinska published the results of their study in Molecular Oncology. They questioned whether a low-dose combination of targeted drugs can outperform chemotherapy without inducing side-effects and resistance to the therapy.
The problem with design of combination therapy is the immense number of possible combinations. Another problem is that combination therapy is often based on previous success of the monotherapies in the clinic. We have used statistical analysis and experimental testing to identify a four-drug combination therapy using exclusively targeted compounds. This combination outperforms chemotherapy in preclinical models of colorectal cancer.
The new treatment strategy for colorectal carcinoma will be translated to the clinic. Next to increased efficacy of the treatment, patients will not experience side-effects. If absence of resistance translates to humans, the therapy can be applied for the long-term control of colorectal cancer.