Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Combination treatment stymies breast cancer growth

02.05.2007
A combination of three different drugs that block the HER-2 receptor, a critical cellular growth signal for some breast cancers, eradicated aggressive breast tumors in mice and could point the way toward developing better treatments inpatients, said researchers from the Breast Center at Baylor College of Medicine in a report that appears today in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

"For the first time, we were able to cure mice of a very aggressive human breast tumor," said Dr. Rachel Schiff, assistant professor in the Breast Center at Baylor College of Medicine and senior author of the report.

In prior such studies, treatment only slowed or delayed the growth of tumors, she said. In this case, the tumors disappear and do not come back, even when treatment is stopped.

The treatment involved is a new approach known as "targeted" therapy because the protein (in this case, HER-2) driving a tumor to grow is first identified in a patient's tumor and then specific drugs are used to block that particular growth pathway in the cells, said Dr. Kent Osborne director of the Breast Center and the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center with BCM. He is also an investigator on the study.

... more about:
»Cancer »HER-2 »Treatment »aggressive

"When you go after a specific target in a patient's tumor, the treatment is likely to be more effective and less toxic," said Schiff.

The tumors in question – nearly 25 percent of all breast cancers – have high levels of HER-2. While the HER-2 makes the tumors more aggressive, it also provides a target against which new drugs can act.

Previously, treatment for patients with HER-2 positive tumors was less effective.

"Now we have effective treatment, and survival is markedly improved," said Dr. Grazia Arpino, lead investigator of the study and a postdoctoral fellow at BCM.

"These tumors are initially highly sensitive to a drug known as trastuzumab or Herceptin, one of the drugs used in combination in the mouse study and which is approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) for treatment," said Schiff.

However, the tumor is wily and can sometimes escape the drug's effects, resulting in resistance. Adding two other experimental drugs – gefitinib and pertuzumab -- that inhibit HER-2 in different ways can more completely block the growth signals in the tumor, causing it to die.

In one of the tumors studied in this report, blocking the stimulatory effects of estrogen on the tumor was also necessary for optimal treatment, said Schiff. Completely blocking the HER pathway is critical, she said. Leaving out just one of the three drugs was much less effective.

A clinical study using drug combinations in newly diagnosed patients with HER-2 positive breast cancer will start soon under the direction of physicians at BCM's Breast Center, said Osborne.

"We are very excited to see if our laboratory results can be translated to patients with the more aggressive types of breast cancer," he said.

Kimberlee Barbour | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bcm.edu

Further reports about: Cancer HER-2 Treatment aggressive

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Decoding the genome's cryptic language
27.02.2017 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds

27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance

27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Decoding the genome's cryptic language

27.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>