A Very Long, Winding Road: Developing Novel Therapeutics for Metastatic Tumors


“Given that the MET inhibitor capmatinib caused a remarkable response in Dr. Blagosklonny, a pertinent question remains as to why he was not treated with ‘preemptive drug combinations’ [...]”

BUFFALO, NY - February 23, 2024 – A new editorial paper was published in Oncoscience (Volume 11) on February 9, 2024, entitled, “A very long and winding road: developing novel therapeutics for metastatic tumors.”

In this editorial, researcher Paul Dent from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Virginia Commonwealth University writes that tumors that have metastasized to distant locations, such as the brain, are most often impossible to treat and cure, although immunotherapeutic approaches have had recent successes in some tumor types such as NSCLC and cutaneous melanoma. There is, however, also considerable evidence that immune therapy may cause hyper-progression in some NSCLC patients, potentially including Dr. Blagosklonny, whose tumor comprises METex14 and amplification of MDM2, as well as in melanoma and NHSCC patients.

“There are several issues that presently preclude more effective control of solid tumors both in situ and as metastatic disease.”

The first is that the mutations which drive a cancer phenotype are generally the combination of subtle alterations in cell biology, any one of which, if targeted, if it can be targeted, will only have modest effects on tumor growth and survival. Conceptually, this calls for an immediate use of two- and three-drug combinations blocking key signaling pathways to achieve effective tumor control regardless of whether resistance mechanisms evolve. Second, a corollary of altered cell biology, and highlighted in the article, is that fewer tumors have a single recognizable driving oncogene to which the tumor cell is specifically addicted for growth and survival, e.g., mutant RAS proteins, mutant EGF receptors and other mutant receptors of MET, RET, and HER2.

“And even under these circumstances based on a large body of evidence from the past 20 years is that such tumors also require treatment with two- and three-drug combinations that simultaneously interdict the primary driving oncogene, block signaling from the primary evolving resistance mechanism and even block signaling from a secondary survival pathway.”

Read the full paper: DOI: https://doi.org/10.18632/oncoscience.595 

Correspondence to: Paul Dent

Email: [email protected]

Keywords: chemotherapy, MET, immunotherapy, evolutionary resistance mechanisms, lung cancer

About Oncoscience

Oncoscience is a peer-reviewed, open-access, traditional journal covering the rapidly growing field of cancer research, especially emergent topics not currently covered by other journals. This journal has a special mission: Freeing oncology from publication cost. It is free for the readers and the authors.

To learn more about Oncoscience, visit Oncoscience.us and connect with us on social media:

For media inquiries, please contact [email protected].

Oncoscience Journal Office

6666 East Quaker Str., Suite 1D

Orchard Park, NY 14127

Phone: 1-800-922-0957 (option 4)