Drugs to prevent cancer cells treatment resistance could be launched by the next 10 years, said scientists. ICR announced a $95.5mn investment into developing these drugs. Paul Workman stated that the current challenge was the prevention of cancer cells evolving to resist drugs. The latest drugs had a shot at managing cancer in long term periods and higher cure rates.
Current treatments like chemotherapy don’t always work as cells can survive and adapt, leading to relapses in otherwise healthy patients. A majority of all deaths due to cancer were only because of its adaptability to survive even in face of powerful treatments. The current focus is on overcoming this limitation. The institute is on its way to change cancer management strategies and prevent cancer from turning drug resistant. ICR is trying to attract £15M more for a new CDD center in South London that would bring more than 300 scientists together from various fields.
Patients are likely to relapse when their cancers adapt and resist therapy. The current approach propagated by ICR is to use Darwinian evolution theories to discover new, effective treatments. Limiting cancer cells’ evolution abilities, increasing vulnerability of the cells to drugs and drug combinations could make it difficult for cancer cells to survive. While current experiments look promising, such treatments are 10 years away at the very least.
AI and multidrug approaches are being applied by scientists to predict & influence cancer cell evolution, to create weaknesses that can be exploited by these treatments. Predictive models and AI might be able to present variations of cancer cells that are possible with evolution. Drugs can be developed and tested, targeting these cells this way, without much resource expenditure.
Apobec protein molecules are already under research to find new drugs against it. It is used by over 50% cancer variants to speed up the process of drug resistant-abilities and evolution.
While, a viable procedure was still 10 years away, with continuing research, it would eventually be possible for patients to have a better life quality, said Workman.