Dr. Politi on Drug-Tolerant Persister Cells in Cancer Care

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Katerina Politi, PhD, discusses drug-tolerant persister cells in patients with cancer.

Katerina Politi, PhD, associate professor of Pathology, co-leader, Cancer Signaling Networks, Yale Cancer Center, scientific director, Center for Thoracic Cancers, Yale School of Medicine, discusses drug-tolerant persister cells in patients with cancer.

Drug-tolerant persister cells remain after treatment, and they can lead to drug resistance and relapse in patients with cancer, Politi explains. Studying drug tolerant persister cells can help investigators better understand mechanisms of resistance and causes of relapse, particularly following treatment with targeted therapies, Politi adds.

For example, EGFR TKIs have proven efficacy in lung cancer; however, complete responses are rare, and drug-tolerant persister cells can remain in these patients following treatment, and resistance to EGFR TKIs eventually emerges, Politi adds.

Better understanding drug-tolerant persister cells could allow investigators to develop approaches to target these cells or prevent them from emerging, Politi concludes.

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