Starve a Tumor, Feed a Cell: How Cancers Can Resist Drugs
Professor Aimee Edinger and researcher Vaishali Jayashankar have discovered that macropinocytosis makes a previously unappreciated contribution to drug-resistance in solid tumors. Their work, published in Nature Communications, may help overcome an obstacle that is a major challenge in the fight against cancer. Many commonly used cancer therapies kill tumors by starving them. These drugs often work at first but lose their activity over time. Macropinocytosis enables cancer cells desperate for nourishment to scoop up dead cell material within a tumor and feed on it. By stopping this scavenging, blocking micropinocytosis may help oncologists treat patients with breast, prostate, and pancreas cancer more effectively.