Myc-Driven Tumors Could be Next for Targeted Therapies

Scientists have made a breakthrough in inhibiting the tumor-driving protein myc, which previously had been impossible to target with drugs. Myc drives cells toward uncontrolled growth in tumors, and is involved in many of the most serious forms of cancer, including breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, brain cancer, prostate cancer, and blood cancer. Scientists have found that one drug that indirectly targets myc slows tumor growth in a mouse model of myc-driven cancer. The key to the breakthrough was recognizing that myc relies partially on MTOR, another protein, for its protein supply. By targeting MTOR, the drug keeps myc from promoting tumor growth. The drug, called MLN0128, is already in clinical trials for a variety of cancers, but this is the first time it has been viewed as a tool to treat myc-driven cancer. The researchers said that other indirect targeted therapy drugs are already being tested in human studies to treat myc-driven tumors.