Joan Montero and colleagues in Boston suggest a new strategy for melanoma patients

IBEC researcher Joan Montero authors a paper in Nature Communications which uncovers a key adaptation that melanoma cancer cells use to evade current therapies. This finding might allow physicians to use better drug combinations to improve patient outcomes in the future.

Despite significant advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment, most targeted cancer therapies fail to achieve complete tumor regressions or durable remission. Understanding why these treatments are not always efficient has remained a main challenge for researchers and physicians. Now, Joan Montero from the IBEC and colleagues at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School in USA report in Nature Communications a mechanism that uncovers why some therapies fail to treat melanoma.

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The results show that sequential treatment of BRAF targeted therapies with MCL-1 inhibitors (now in clinical trials) could overcome treatment resistance in melanoma patients.

This work was performed with financial support from the SU2C, the V foundation and the Ramón y Cajal programme.

Reference article:
Joan Montero et al. Destabilization of NOXA mRNA as a common resistance mechanism to targeted therapies. Nature Communications, 10, Article number: 5157 (2019).