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Small cell lung cancer (SCLC)

Aurora kinase B (AURKB; aurora-B); c-Myc (MYC)

A cell screening study suggests aurora-B inhibitors could help treat SCLCs with MYC amplification. A screen of 267 small molecules across 44 SCLC cell lines identified genomic alterations that resulted in sensitivity to small molecule aurora-B inhibitors. In MYC-amplified SCLC cell lines, aurora-B inhibitors led to apoptosis, mitochondrial membrane potential collapse and cell-cycle arrest. In SCLC lines without MYC amplification, aurora-B inhibitors did not induce such effects. Next steps could include testing aurora-B inhibitors in patients with MYC-amplified SCLC.
Corresponding author Roman Thomas has cofounded cancer genomics company Blackfield AG.
At least four companies have aurora-B inhibitors in preclinical or clinical development to treat cancer.

SciBX 5(43); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1137
Published online Nov. 1, 2012

Unpatented; licensing status not applicable

Sos, M.L. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online Oct. 3, 2012;
Contact: Roman K. Thomas, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany

Contact: Martin L. Sos, University of California, San Francisco, Calif.