Research ArticleCancer

Exploiting evolutionary principles to prolong tumor control in preclinical models of breast cancer

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Science Translational Medicine  24 Feb 2016:
Vol. 8, Issue 327, pp. 327ra24
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aad7842

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Evolution of cancer therapy

The standard approach to treating cancer is giving patients the maximum tolerated amount of chemotherapy with the goal of doing the maximum possible damage to the tumor without killing the patient. This method is relatively effective, but it also causes major toxicities. Now, Enriquez-Navas et al. have demonstrated a different approach for ensuring efficacy of chemotherapy and minimizing toxicity. The authors used an evolutionary approach, where the dose of chemotherapy is guided by the tumor’s response to the previous dose, allowing a gradual withdrawal of the drug if the tumor continues to respond. This method proved quite effective for paclitaxel treatment in two different mouse models and warrants further evaluation in additional models as well as human trials.