What is Drug Resistance?
Sometimes cancers are inherently unaffected by a specific drug and sometimes drug resistance occurs when cancers that have been responding to a therapy suddenly begin to grow again. In that latter case, the cancer cells resist the effects of treatment and the therapy being used will need to be changed.
Research is underway to investigate ways of reducing or preventing cancer drug resistance.
Related NFCR Research
Dr. Alice Shaw’s laboratory focuses on developing new strategies to overcome lung cancer treatment resistance – specifically for anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), ROS1 and RET genetic mutations in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Since 2014, Dr. Shaw has been leading several clinical trials and translational efforts aimed at overcoming drug resistance for patients living with ALK positive NSCLC.
Dr. Susan Horwitz is a molecular pharmacologist who studies how drugs work in the body. She is the scientist who discovered how Taxol works inside cells to halt cell division. Dr. Horwitz is now collaborating with other scientists, including NFCR-funded scientist Dr. Amos B. Smith, III, to develop new drugs to overcome the drug resistance problem for triple negative breast cancer.
Dr. Daniel A. Haber’s laboratory is looking at the genetic abnormalities of cancer – from inherited mutations (with familial predisposition) to mutations that are acquired by tumors themselves – and the research aims to guide targeted drug therapies.