Combination Therapy for the Treatment of Cancer

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Developed by:

  • Erica A. Golemis, PhD

  • Background:

    EGFR has been found to be overexpressed on many cancer cells. EGFR functions in relaying growth signals to cells, leading to increased and aberrant cell multiplication in tumors. The Aurora A kinase is active in the G2/M transition of the cell cycle, regulating spindle assembly. The Aurora kinase A is a critical component of normal cell proliferation and is often overexpressed in tumors. Several agents have been developed to inhibit the functions of Aurora kinase A, and have undergone clinical testing in patients with cancer.


    Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center have collaborated with investigators at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University to identify a strong synergistic interaction between certain EGFR-inhibiting drugs and Aurora kinase A inhibitors in colorectal cancer cell lines. When administered together, the drugs can cause cell death at much lower doses than if given separately.


    The synergy discovered between the EGFR inhibitors and an Aurora kinase A inhibitor has potentially broad anti-cancer applications since many tumors are linked to aberrant EGFR and Aurora kinase A function. In addition, patients can develop resistance to the treatment with the EGFR-inhibiting drugs at the level of the EGFR receptor. Aurora kinase A targets a completely different process in cancer cells and, in combination with the EGFR inhibitors, may prolong the time to development of therapy resistance. Furthermore, several Aurora kinase A inhibitors have already been developed by industry and the sizable investment in the study of these agents could be leveraged by combined use with the EGFR-inhibiting drugs.


    The technology is available for licensing.

    Patent Status:

    Patent pending.

    For licensing information, contact

    Inna Khartchenko, MS, MBA
    Director, Licensing
    Associate Director, Office of Corporate Alliances Fox Chase Cancer Center
    610 Old York Road, Suite 400
    Room 409
    Jenkintown, PA 19046
    Tel.: 215-214-3989
    Fax: 215-214-1440