(HealthDay News) -- A new antibody may be effective against both mutated forms of a protein linked to lung cancer, U.S. researchers report.
Different mutant forms of the protein EGFR play a major role in the development of many cases of lung cancer, according to background information in a news release.
In this study, scientists at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston reported that a mouse antibody (mAb806) that binds to EGFR caused the regression of lung tumors caused by EGFR with a mutation in the intracellular part of the protein.
But the antibody also binds to tumors caused by a mutation that affects the extracellular part of EGFR (known as the EGFRvIII mutant), the researchers reported Thursday in the online edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
In comparison, another antibody called cetuximab -- which is already being used to treat a specific subset of lung cancer patients -- only induced tumor regression in mice with lung tumors caused by EGFR mutation in the intracellular part of the protein.
The researchers also found that the humanized form (ch806) of the mAb806 mouse antibody caused regression of lung tumors caused by either of the EGFR mutations. This suggests that ch806 may offer a new treatment for patients with lung cancer caused by these two EGFR mutations, the researchers said.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about lung cancer.