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.

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 July 30, 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 July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Newsy (July 29, 2014) The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses little threat to Americans, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 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:
from the past week

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