A recent study at Stanford University School of Medicine shows that an antibody slows GIST growth. The study shows that the antibody binds itself to the surface of a GIST Tumor and causes the growth of cancer cells to slow in the mice they tested. Mice that built up a resistance to Gleevec and other treatments, still noticed that the antibody slows GIST growth. This is great news for GIST patients that have become resistant to treatment. The antibody targets KIT receptor’s, and the Stanford researchers noticed that the antibody reduces the amount of KIT on the surface of the cancer cells and stimulates immune cells called macrophages to kill the rogue cells. The Stanford science team plans to begin human clinical trials in two years.
Here is what Dr. Matt van de Rijn, MD, PhD, (member of the LRG Research Team) had to say about how the antibody slows GIST growth:
“Gleevec, or imatinib, marked a paradigm shift in our understanding about cancer treatment and sparked much additional research into these inhibitors. However, a new mutation almost always occurs over time in KIT that renders the tumor insensitive to the drug. We’ve found that treatment of these resistant cells with an antibody targeting KIT slows the growth of human GIST cells in cell culture and in animals, and increases their chances of being removed by the immune system.”
Researchers believe that the anti-KIT antibody treatment could be used as an alternative treatment combination with imatinib or other therapies. For more information, read the full article here.