Monday, December 27, 2010

Time for a new drug?

I was at a seminar a week or so ago about reversing the tolerance (the drug loses effect over time) to chemo drugs. It was about non-small cell lung cancer, but I was intrigued. I did a little PubMed (google for scientific articles) research. Briefly, a class of drugs called histone deacetlylase inhibitors (HDAC inhibitors or HDIs) can reverse the tolerance to receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) (of which Sutent is one). They actually seem to work with other chemo drugs too, but most of the research has been with TKIs and HDAC inhibitors. They're doing clinical trials with a few types of cancer, not RCC to my knowledge, and the results are promising. Vorinostat, an HDAC inhibitor works with Temsirolimus (not a TKI, but an mTOR inhibitor) on RCC cells in culture (in a Petri dish). There are some other HDAC inhibitors that worked extremely well in culture for RCC, but they are not commercially available. The best part is that there are HDAC inhibitors approved by the FDA. Maybe it's time to start a clinical trial for HDAC inhibitors with Sutent in Little Rock, or maybe just go for off label use of a currently approved one?