Yongping Shao, Ph.D.
- Ph.D., Molecular Biology, State University of New York at Albany
- M.S., Botany, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
- B.S., Biology, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
Dr. Shao’s study is entitled, “Mechanism of acquired resistance to B-RAF inhibitor in melanoma.” Various genetic alterations have been identified in melanoma with B-RAF (~50%) and RAS (~15%) mutations being the most common ones. One B-RAF mutant, V600E, which increases B-RAF kinase activity and hyperactivates the MEK-ERK 1/2 pathway has been found in about 90% of all mutant B-RAF melanomas and therefore serves as a good candidate for targeted therapy.
A recently developed inhibitor, PLX4032, blocks B-RAF activation of the MEK-ERK 1/2 pathway selectively in mutant B-RAF cells. PLX4032 achieved a striking 78% responsive rate with >30% tumor regression in a phase I clinic trial on mutant B-RAF (V600E) patients indicating a cytotoxic effect of this inhibitor.
The study is hoped to provide valuable knowledge on the molecular basis of drug resistance in melanoma.