About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

New Approach of Adaptive Treatment for Different Cancer Cells Identified

by Thilaka Ravi on May 1, 2018 at 10:32 PM
Font : A-A+

New Approach of Adaptive Treatment for Different Cancer Cells Identified

Mathematical modeling based on evolutionary principles is now being used on a trial basis to show that adaptive drug treatments based on tumor responses to prior treatment are more effective than maximum-tolerated dose approaches for certain tumor situations. Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center have published the new study online ahead of print in Cancer Research.

Cancer patients are commonly treated with the maximum dose they are able to withstand that does not cause too many toxic side effects. However, many patients become resistant to these treatments and develop cancer recurrence.


Standard cancer treatments and most clinical trials are based on the notion that physicians need to treat patients with the highest dose of a drug possible to kill the most cancer cells in the shortest amount of time. But often, tumor cells manage to find ways to thrive by activating survival mechanisms.

"An evolutionary flaw in this maximum-tolerated dose strategy is the assumption that resistant populations are not present prior to therapy. It is now clear that cancer cells can be insensitive even to treatment that they have never seen before," explained study author Jill Gallaher, Ph.D., an applied research scientist in the Department of Integrated Mathematical Oncology at Moffitt.

According to the Moffitt team, this can be explained through the evolutionary principle of competitive release. An example of this can be found in the use of chemical pesticides for gardens and crops. When the highest pesticide dose is used, the insect population undergoes high selection pressure and those insects that are sensitive to the insecticide are killed. However, some insects are able to survive because of already existing resistance, and with the disappearance of their competitors, these insects are able to multiply and generate a resistant population. It has become clear that existing resistant tumor cells can respond the same way following treatment.

An alternative approach to using a maximum-tolerated dose for cancer treatment is to use an adaptive approach based on the tumor's response to the previous drug administration. The Moffitt researchers wanted to determine which treatment scenario, either a continuous maximum tolerated approach or an adaptive approach, was best suited for particular tumors. They performed their analysis by using mathematical modeling based on evolutionary principles and cell culture experiments. They simulated maximum dose strategies against adaptive strategies using different combinations of sensitive and resistant cell populations, and also took into consideration the ability of cells to migrate and different proliferation inheritance patterns.

The researchers discovered that in general, there is no single treatment approach that works best for all tumors, and that the ability of a tumor to respond to a particular treatment depends on the composition of the tumor. For example, they showed that tumors that are made up of cells that are similar to one another and sensitive to drug treatments tend to respond better to a continuous, maximum-dose approach. In a clinical setting, this approach may work best for tumors such as testicular cancer and certain lymphomas that tend to be more homogeneous. However, tumors that are made up of a mixture of sensitive and resistant cells tend to respond better to an adaptive treatment approach. Clinical examples of these types of tumors include melanoma, lung and breast cancer.

The researchers also analyzed different adaptive-treatment approaches. They compared a typical adaptive strategy with a treatment vacation strategy during which no treatment is given in between high drug doses. They reported that the high-dose fluctuations of treatment vacations work well to control tumor growth if the tumor is highly invasive or genetically changing.

The researchers hope that their work can convince others that patients may respond better to cancer treatments by using existing drugs in a smarter manner.

"Our work illustrates clearly the importance of using treatment response as a key driver of treatment decisions, rather than fixed strategies. We strongly believe that the future of precision medicine should be focused not only on the development of new drugs but also in the smarter evolutionary use of preexisting drugs," said Alexander RA Anderson, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Integrated Mathematical Oncology at Moffitt.

Source: Eurekalert

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Printed Temperature Sensors help with Continuous Temperature Monitoring
Health Benefits of Giloy
Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021 - It's time to RISE
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Cancer and Homeopathy Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Colorectal Cancer Cancer Facts Cancer Tattoos A Body Art Common Lifestyle Habits that Cause Diseases Health Benefits of Dandelion Plant Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors for Cancer Treatment Non-Communicable Diseases 

Recommended Reading
Melanoma is a dangerous form of skin cancer caused largely due to exposure to the sun's damaging UV ...
Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells. It can develop due to a continuous exposure to sun ...
Tumor Markers For Cancer Diagnosis and Prognosis
An ideal tumor marker for a cancer should be specific to that cancer and not generate false ......
Pituitary Tumors
How do pituitary tumors affect you and what are the risks, symptoms and causes of pituitary tumors? ...
Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer is a cancer that starts in the colon or the rectum. Colorectal cancer is the third...
Common Lifestyle Habits that Cause Diseases
Cigarette smoking, unhealthy diets, overuse of alcohol, and physical inactivity are some of the most...
Health Benefits of Dandelion Plant
What is dandelion? Dandelion greens are nutrition powerhouses with a wide range of health benefits. ...
Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors for Cancer Treatment
Immune checkpoint inhibitors are promising drugs to treat a variety of cancers and the FDA has appro...
Non-Communicable Diseases
Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are a group of chronic non-infectious diseases which include Cardio...
Tattoos A Body Art
Tattoos are a rage among college students who sport it for the ‘cool dude’ or ‘cool babe’ look...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use