Cancer Treatment - New Experimental Drug Crizotinib Found To Be Effective In Treating Cancerous Growths

The results of a recent study, conducted by researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, highlighted the importance of using treatment strategies that are personalized to individual patients in the treatment of genetically defined cancers. The researchers reported that they had managed to achieve significant results in terms treating a rare and aggressive form of soft-tissue cancer that appeared to be driven by an abnormally activated protein, through the use of a new, orally administered drug known as crizotinib. However, these researchers also reported that this same drug appeared to have little effect on a similar patient who also suffered from a similar form of soft tissue cancer, which differed from the first case in that it was not driven by the abnormally activated protein as in the first case.

The abnormally activated protein in question is known as ALK (due to the fact that Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase was the first disease in which this abnormally activated protein was observed), and is found in certain cases of cancer, where it acts in such a way as to promote the growth of the cancer. The new experimental drug, crizotinib, has been found to be effective in treating cancerous growths fuels by ALK, although it had little effect on growths not associated with ALK, which in turn highlights the importance of profiling cancerous growths in order to achieve a best-fit between the drug and the patient. Despite its success in the treatment of ALK related cancers, experts are cautious about predicting the potential of crizotinib, due to the fact that some of these cancers have become resistant to this new drug over time.

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