Researchers from the Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have recently developed a way to identify a way to help patients with drug-resistant melanoma. While melanoma is not the most common of skin cancers, it certainly is the most dangerous. Using a technique called liquid chromatography, researchers have been able to measure biomarkers or molecules in blood and tissue that show cancer is present, and this can help us determine if a patient is responding to treatment at all.
Despite recent strides in developing targeted therapy drugs, the initial impressive responses seen in melanoma patients usually ends in failed therapy. As a result, tumors develop more resistance and only continue to survive and spread.
The team has developed a liquid chromatography-multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry assay to analyze more than 80 proteins known to be important in melanoma progression and resistance to targeted therapies. They showed that melanoma cells that are resistant to drugs that target MEK have alterations in a number of different cell signaling pathways, and results like this will allow for the development of new treatment strategies.
The researchers intend to speed up the identification of such proteins, to hopefully enable simultaneous detection of multiple proteins in small quantities of tissue samples. It also help produce data that can be copied and send to different laboratories to validate. With time, we can hope to see drug-resistant melanoma patients undergo successful treatment using these methods.