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Cancer Res. 2003 Aug 15;63(16):5095-104.

Transcriptional profiling of targets for combination therapy of lung carcinoma with paclitaxel and mitogen-activated protein/extracellular signal-regulated kinase kinase inhibitor.

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  • 1Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7295, USA.


A combination of paclitaxel (Taxol) and mitogen-activated protein/extracellular signal-regulated kinase kinase (MEK/Erk) inhibitor represents a rational new approach to chemotherapy. We performed Affymetrix microarray analysis to understand the global effects of this combination in lung carcinoma. Genes involved in cell cycle control, apoptosis, adhesion, proliferation, invasion, and metastasis were modulated. We observed similar patterns of gene modulation in ovarian and melanoma cell lines, indicating the general applicability of these findings. Functional genomic analysis identified two genes as new targets of drug-induced tumor apoptosis. The MGSA/Gro1 gene, important in melanoma growth, was induced by paclitaxel and reduced by MEK inhibition. Blockage of paclitaxel-induced melanoma growth stimulatory activity significantly reduced melanoma growth. Additionally, the expression of topoisomerase III beta, which exhibited a clear pattern of gene reduction by a combination of the two drugs, was significantly increased (5.7-fold) in primary lung cancers but not adjacent tissues. These findings provide potential new biomarkers and gene targets for the development of improved cancer treatment.

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