Powerful Drug Combo Gangs up to Tackle Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

In the intensive search for new treatments against an aggressive form of breast cancer, triple-negative breast cancer, researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center created a powerful drug combo by combining a new protein inhibitor and a chemotherapy drug that results in cancer cell death. Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is sub-type of breast cancer which does not express hormone receptor or HER2. It accounts for 15-20% of all the breast cancers and lacks therapeutic target treatment options. The current study is published in the journal Oncotarget.

Jacqueline Jeruss, M.D., Ph.D., Credit: University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center

The research was done with TNBC cells in culture and animal models. The researchers combined a pharmaceutical grade CDK (Cyclin-dependent Kinase) inhibitor known as CYC065 and a chemotherapy drug eribulin for the treatment of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. This combination had a synergistic effect against the growth of TNBC. Researchers also identified some specific transcription factors, impacted by CYC065, which promote cancer cell death. The future step is to test the drug combination in patients with TNBC through clinical trials.

The study author Jacqueline S. Jeruss, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Breast Care Center said, “We have begun to identify a network of vulnerable and targetable signaling components within the triple negative cancer cells that can be exploited with CDK inhibitor and chemotherapy treatment to promote triple negative breast cancer cell death”.

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