Topic: Help re targeted therapies (NYTimes articles 2/21 and 22/2010)

Has anyone read the NYTimes articles about a  targeted cancer therapy trial phase 1 for melanoma?? (Third and final one in series coming tomorrow, I think)
It is about a doc who dropped his oncology practice to develop BETTER drugs for cancer.He chose melanoma and found  a protein that results from a disrupted gene and promotes melanoma. What to me is so fascinating is that when this drug works it is effective on highly advanced cases, patients with many many metastises.
Clearly it is only phase 1. And patients are getting "only" life-extension- but to see people on death's door-step regaining their health for 9 good months is really amazing.
My question is: does anyone know of any trials or palliative uses of drugs that work on choalngiocarcinoma's pathways? I doubt there are any in development specifically for chaolangio due to its tiny market... But maybe some already approved for other cancers? Or in trial for other cancers that are available to stage IV cholangio patients?
Also, has there been any work done on the genetic mutations that show up on cholangio patients?

We are inspired to look for answers!!

Best to all.

Re: Help re targeted therapies (NYTimes articles 2/21 and 22/2010)

Yes and no. Cholangiocarcinoma is a braca2 cancer. Wiki info on braca2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BRCA2

My bestfriend is a pediatric oncologist. She actually researches  Fanconi anemia which is mentioned in the wiki article. She said being a braca2 cancer is VERY, VERY good. It is mostly associated with breast cancer and there is huge amounts of money getting pumped into braca2 research and how and what types of treatmetns work best. She said that she attends braca2 conferences to learn more about Fanconi anenmia and that the conferences are dominated by breast cancer researchers but that alot of the research being done though focusing on breast cancer transfers to other braca2 cancers.

Monica shares my frustration at the lack of funding and research for rare diseases. But she always makes comparisons between  Fanconi anemia and cholangiocarcinoma to give me hope. Apparently like cc,  Fanconi anemia has 1 foundation started by a family member of an affected person and the foundation has done incredible things raising money and awareness. She herself has received research funding from the fanconi trust. So Monica is quite content to let the breast cancer charities pay for the braca2 research while she can go to conferences and get the information and when enough of the groundwork is done, let other cancers whose resources are less abundant get involved.

So yes I know there are targeted therapies being investigated that may work but they are not being done in cc just yet. Which given our small numbers is probably a good thing right now.

Kris

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope

Re: Help re targeted therapies (NYTimes articles 2/21 and 22/2010)

devoncat,
Thank you so much for your very well-informed and educational response. It is interesting that the targeted therapies can affect, possibly, more than one type of cancer, so to speak, as classified by their similar chemical pathways, possibly resulting from similar genetic mutations.
Too bad research is so expensive- it really keeps the process from going faster and from including the rarer cancers...
My family appreciates this forum and your help.

Re: Help re targeted therapies (NYTimes articles 2/21 and 22/2010)

What I forgot to mention was the research! From what I understand, one of the most promising trials for braca2 is in PARP inhibitors. Here is a little information
http://www.cancernetwork.com/display/ar … 2?verify=0

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.

36 year old patient with buckets of hope