. . . .Researchers looked at 375 phosphorylation sites in the PI3-kinase pathway, and used three pathway inhibitors to identify drug-regulated phosphorylation events. Each of the three test drugs modulated a specific array of phosphopeptides, with some overlap. The hope, Hendrickson said, is that "by measuring biomarkers in tumor tissue before treatment, clinicians can directly test whether the cancer-causing mechanisms that a drug specifically targets are active in the patient’s tumor. . . ."
"Merck may seek to explore the full impact that this technology could have on our oncology pipeline of kinase inhibitors as well as our broader pipeline but it is still early days. . . ."
Most tumor characterization looks at genetic mutations causing cancer, but this approach provides only vague information about the molecular causes of tumor growth. Phosphoproteomics, however, reveals activated pathways in tumors, providing a more precise way to directly tell whether or not a certain drug will work for a patient. . . .
This, too, may come up on the BMO webcast to be delivered by Merck, in about an hour.