Overcoming drug resistance in the treatment of melanoma

Dr. Nataly Kravchenko-Balasha and her colleagues have received further recognition of their important research into the fight against cancer, with the publication of their latest article in the prestigious journal npj Precision Oncology, published by Spri

The article, titled Overcoming resistance to BRAFV600E inhibition in melanoma by deciphering and targeting personalized protein network alterations, describes their research on melanoma patients harboring BRAFV600E  mutation and would be clinically prescribed anti-BRAFV600E therapy, alone or in combination with MEKMAPK inhibitors. However, most melanoma patients treated with BRAFV600E inhibitors eventually relapse and their tumors become resistant to the treatment.

In the study, they designed individualized melanoma combination treatments based on personalized network alterations. Using an information-theoretic approach, they computed high-resolution patient-specific altered signaling signatures. Based on their data, they designed smart, personalized drug combinations, often consisting of FDA-approved drugs. The approach was validated in vitro and in vivo showing that individualized drug combinations that are rationally based on patient-specific altered signaling signatures are more efficient than the clinically used anti-BRAFV600E or BRAFV600E/MEK targeted therapy. Furthermore, these drug combinations are highly selective, as a drug combination efficient for one BRAFV600E tumor is significantly less efficient for another, and vice versa. The approach presented in the article can be broadly applicable to aid clinicians to rationally design patient-specific anti-melanoma drug combinations.

Dr. Kravchenko-Balasha stated that it is of particular significance that this work is the result of “great collaboration between Hindu, Muslims (from Gaza and Israel), Christians and Jews in our lab fighting TOGETHER against cancer”.

In addition to her scientific research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Dr. Kravchenko–Balasha serves as Chief Scientist of Goldman Bio’s subsidiary MEDPNC. The company focuses on predicting efficient personalized drug combinations for the treatment of individual cancer patients, according to their altered protein network structure.

You can read more about this important research at the following link:https://www.nature.com/articles/s41698-021-00190-3.pdf

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