How does cancer's resistance overwhelm targeted therapy?
Oncogenic kinase inhibitors, once hailed as miracle drugs, represent a $42B annual market. After a period of “miraculous results”, many kinase inhibitors are being overwhelmed by cancer’s resistance. The DNA SEQ Alliance was formed to address that problem.
What are kinases?
A kinase is an enzyme that attaches a phosphate group to a protein. Kinases serve as mobile transfer stations in a sprawling network of intracellular communications. Many of the messages they transmit tell the cell when to grow and divide. Some kinases initiate the signals; others act as receptors, receiving the messages and forwarding them. What transpires between the enzymes is an elaborate relay race, with each protein passing a “baton” of information to the next molecule in the chain.
The communication comes through a process called phosphorylation: one kinase transfers a phosphate group -a compact ring of oxygen surrounding an atom of phosphorus - to a second molecule, giving the latter a jolt of chemical energy, and setting it into motion.
Kinases can be viewed as the universal ON/OFF switches that regulate numerous functions.
The critical role of kinases in cancer cannot be overstated. They participate in many pathways and their “miss-regulation” leads to many human cancers. In particular mutant kinases “drive” the behavior of malignant cells in many cancers. Mutant kinases that “drive” malignancy are the focus of a concerted worldwide effort to specifically target and inhibit them. This effort of the pharmaceutical industry addresses the $42 billion annual market of the kinase-based therapeutic portfolio for cancer. The mechanism of resistance that develops overcomes these inhibitors is the focus of DNA SEQ’s scientific work and patented discoveries.