Dr. Peter Jones of the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center at USC discusses the positive impact epigenetic therapies are having in the clinic.
Priming Cancer Therapies with Epigenetics with Dr. Peter Jones
Well, I think the thing that excites me the most is the increasing successes of epigenetic therapies in the clinic. And so I think for the first time now, we’re beginning to see responses in solid tumors, in addition to what’s been seen with hematological malignancies.
So as part of the Stand Up To Cancer team with Steve Baylin at Johns Hopkins, we’re beginning to see responses in patients with advanced lung cancer. And so I think the idea that epigenetic therapy can be used to prime the patient for subsequent other therapies is really catching hold now in the clinical arena.
So for example, we find that if you use epigenetic therapy first, and subsequently use immunotherapy in patients, we can get sustained responses in cancers which don’t normally respond to anything. Secondarily, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that you can overcome resistance to standard drug regimens.
So for example in ovarian cancer,woman that are treated with Cisplatin respond. And then they have multiple therapies and then the tumors become very resistant. Well, it now turns out if you use epigenetic therapy, you can restore sensitivity to the chemotherapy.
So I think that the thing that makes me most excited is the fact that at last we’re beginning to see a real application of what we’ve been studying in the lab over the last many, many years, into patients. And that’s after all, what it’s all about in the long run.