News Headlines Article

There’s a new theory about why some cancer therapies fail. It’s about timing.
The Washington Times

One of the most disheartening things about cancer care today is the amount of guesswork that goes into drug treatments. It isn’t uncommon for patients to go through two, three or more therapies before finding success or running out of time.

Scientists now know that genetics explain why some drugs may work work miraculously in one person but not at all in another. Mike Hemann and Doug Lauffenburger of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have just come up with evidence that timing may be just as critical.

The researchers reported in the journal Cell that their work shows that tumors evolve though various stages and that some are more vulnerable to drugs than others. This suggests, Hemann said in an interview, that there may be a “window” of opportunity for drugs that had previously been written off as failures.