Inhibiting Cancer Drug Resistance Gene May Not Be Best Approach

May 01, 2020 | Biotechnology

Reading time: 4 minutes

This week, Lab.Equipment has curated a new Biotechnology article published from Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News (GEN):

The unfortunate reality for most cancer patients is that they will face resistance to one or more chemotherapeutic agents prescribed to eliminate their disease. Even more problematic, once a patient’s tumor is resistant to one type of chemotherapy, it is much more likely to be resistant to other chemotherapies as well, a conundrum long known as multidrug resistance. Once patients reach this point, the prognosis is often poor, and for the last 35 years, scientists have attempted to understand and block multidrug resistance in cancer by using experimental medicines. Interestingly, new data from investigators at Scripps Research in Florida suggests that this may not be the best approach.

Inhibiting the key gene involved in cancer drug resistance has unintended side effects on specialized immune system cells called CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), the team found. This could dull anti-cancer immune responses, and potentially increase vulnerability to infection since CTLs are “killer” T cells, essential in the fight against both viral and bacterial infections and tumors.

The findings from this new study—published recently in The Journal of Experimental Medicine through an article entitled “Physiological expression and function of the MDR1 transporter in cytotoxic T lymphocytes”—suggest that the repeated failure of MDR1 inhibitors in human cancer trials may be due to a previously unrecognized, and essential, function of the multidrug resistance-1 (MDR1) gene in CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes... More of this in the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News (GEN) Blog.

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