ARTICLE | Cover Story

Inflaming resistance to Tarceva

September 9, 2010 7:00 AM UTC

A team at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratoryhas found that in cancer, inflammation-driven IL-6 signaling can cause resistance to drugs that inhibit epidermal growth factor receptor, such as Tarceva erlotinib and Iressa gefitinib.1The data suggest that blocking IL-6 could help treat drug-resistant cancers, a hypothesis Alder Biopharmaceuticals Inc. may put to the test in a Phase IIa trial of its anti-IL-6 antibody, ALD518.

About 80% of patients who respond to small molecule inhibitors of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) carry oncogenic mutations in the kinase domain of the receptor that render them sensitive to EGFR inhibition.2 However, all patients will eventually develop resistance to these drugs...