As researchers learn more about how cancer cells develop, grow, and spread, more attention is being paid to the role biomarkers play in these processes.
A new study led by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researcher Qing-Bai She identifies biomarker targets that may make existing drugs more effective in fighting certain cancers. The study got published in Nature Communications.
The mTOR protein is a central regulator of cell growth and division. Abnormal activation of mTOR protein results in limitless cell division in many human cancers. Though mTOR-targeted drugs exist, their effectiveness has so far been limited, possibly due to the loss of the mTOR downstream effector 4E-BP1, a key repressor of protein production.
"This finding has significant clinical ramification, because incorporating the analysis of Snail and 4E-BP1 expression in cancers may help to prospectively identify resistance to mTOR-targeted drugs in the clinic," said She, associate professor in the UK Department of Pharmacology & Nutritional Sciences.