Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Early Phase Breast Cancer Study Suggests New Approach Can Re-sensitize Tumors

Date:
September 9, 2008
Source:
Georgetown University Medical Center
Summary:
Women with hormone-receptor positive, metastatic breast cancer may take medications for years to help keep their cancer at bay, but when the tumor becomes resistant to anti-hormonal drugs, treatment with chemotherapy becomes the only option. But a new study may change this approach. Early data suggests a new treatment approach can "re-sensitize" the tumor, allowing anti-hormonal drugs to do their job once again.

Women with hormone-receptor positive, metastatic breast cancer may take medications for years to help keep their cancer at bay, but when the tumor becomes resistant to anti-hormonal drugs, treatment with chemotherapy becomes the only option. But a study presented at the 2008 ASCO Breast Cancer Symposiummay change this approach. Early data suggests a new treatment approach can "re-sensitize" the tumor, allowing anti-hormonal drugs to do their job once again.

Related Articles


The strategy being investigated involves breast cancers that are fueled by estrogen—these are called estrogen-receptor or progesterone-receptor positive cancers (ER or PR positive). Women who have ER or PR positive metastatic breast cancer often take anti-hormonal medicines, such as aromatase inhibitors, to keep the cancer from progressing. Aromatase inhibitors lower the amount of estrogen in the body. Over time, however, the cancer becomes resistant to this approach and begins to grow.

"At first, the tumor's growth is halted because the aromatase inhibitor is depriving the cancer of the estrogen it needs to grow," says Claudine Isaacs, M.D., clinical director of breast cancer program at Georgetown University Medical Center's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. "Eventually, though, the cancer will figure out another way to thrive in the absence of the estrogen."

Isaacs and her colleagues, including lead author Deepa Subramaniam, M.D. of Lombardi, are conducting a clinical trial to see if a new approach can destroy the machinery the tumor creates in order to grow without the estrogen. The drug being studied is called sorafenib.

The results of the phase II study involving 27 patients were presented today at the ASCO 2008 Breast Cancer Symposium. It included post-menopausal women with metastatic breast cancer whose cancer had recurred or progressed while taking the aromatase inhibitor anastrozole. The preliminary analysis shows a clinical benefit response in 26 percent of the patients taking both sorafenib and anastrozole.

"Given what we know about the ineffectiveness of sorafenib alone in metastatic breast cancer, we believe the benefit that we're seeing may be attributable to the restoration of sensitivity to aromatase inhibitors," Isaacs concludes. "To manage breast cancer long term, it's apparent that we may need to continually switch drugs to keep up with how a cancer evolves and evades each approach. In a sense, for each step back, we hope to take two steps forward."

This study was funded by the Avon Patient for Progress Award. Isaacs is part of a speaker's bureau for Pfizer the maker of Exemestane, an aromatase inhibitor.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgetown University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Georgetown University Medical Center. "Early Phase Breast Cancer Study Suggests New Approach Can Re-sensitize Tumors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080905153641.htm>.
Georgetown University Medical Center. (2008, September 9). Early Phase Breast Cancer Study Suggests New Approach Can Re-sensitize Tumors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080905153641.htm
Georgetown University Medical Center. "Early Phase Breast Cancer Study Suggests New Approach Can Re-sensitize Tumors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080905153641.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) — Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins