Research ArticleCancer

Targeting LGR5+ cells with an antibody-drug conjugate for the treatment of colon cancer

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Science Translational Medicine  18 Nov 2015:
Vol. 7, Issue 314, pp. 314ra186
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aac7433

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Stemming the progression of cancer

LGR5 is a well-known marker of intestinal cancer stem cells, which makes it an attractive target for anticancer treatments. Unfortunately, it is also found in healthy intestinal stem cells, giving rise to concerns about the potential toxicity of such treatments. Now, Junttila et al. used preclinical models of intestinal cancer to demonstrate that targeting LGR5 with an antibody-drug conjugate is effective for shrinking tumors without damaging the surrounding normal tissues. These observations of preclinical effectiveness as well as safety suggest that targeting LGR5-expressing cells may be a viable therapeutic strategy and a candidate for evaluation in human studies.

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