Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

In vitro study identifies potential combination therapy for breast cancer

Date:
July 2, 2012
Source:
Boston University Medical Center
Summary:
A new study demonstrates an effective combination therapy for breast cancer cells in vitro. The findings raise the possibility of using this type of combination therapy for different forms of breast cancer, including those that develop resistance to chemotherapy and other treatments.

A study conducted at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) demonstrates an effective combination therapy for breast cancer cells in vitro. The findings, published in the July 2012 issue of Anticancer Research, raise the possibility of using this type of combination therapy for different forms of breast cancer, including those that develop resistance to chemotherapy and other treatments.

The study was led by researchers at the Boston University Cancer Center. Sibaji Sarkar, PhD, adjunct instructor of medicine at BUSM, is the study's corresponding author.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States aside from non-melanoma skin cancer. Breast cancer also is one of the leading causes of cancer death among women of all races and Hispanic origin populations.

Triple negative breast cancer, which accounts for approximately 14 to 20 percent of all breast cancer cases, is a type of the disease that occurs when the cancer cells lack hormone receptors, including the receptor called HER-2, and typically will not respond to hormone and herceptin-based therapies. Triple negative breast cancer occurs more often in African-American women and is considered to be a more aggressive form of the disease with higher rates of recurrence and mortality than other forms of breast cancer.

"Cancer is like a car without brakes. Cell growth speeds up and it doesn't stop," said Sarkar. "When expressed, tumor suppressor genes, which work in a protective way to limit tumor growth, function as the brakes. They are not expressed in most cancers, causing the cancer to grow and potentially metastasize."

A major focus in the area of anti-cancer drug development is to find a way to re-express tumor suppressor genes so that they can help inhibit cancer cell growth. Some tumor suppressor genes are imprinted, meaning that from the two genes inherited from the mother and father, only one of the genes is functional. In cancer, both imprinted tumor suppressor genes may become non-functional and unable to stop tumor growth.

The researchers tested, in vitro, a combination therapy of an epigenetic drug with a protease inhibitor on breast cancer cell lines that are hormone responsive and breast cancer lines, like triple negative, that are not hormone responsive. They utilized histone deacetylases inhibitors (HDACi) and calpeptin, which inhibits calpain, a protein involved in the regulation of signaling proteins. Calpain inhibition is being studied as a potential treatment model for blood clots and other neurological diseases.

In this study, they found that the combination therapy both inhibited cell growth and increased cell death in both cancer cell lines by inducing cell cycle arrest and cell death. However, the mechanism of how the combination therapy stops the cells from growing was different. Cells in the hormone responsive line stopped the cell cycle in an earlier phase compared to the non-hormone responsive cells. In the triple negative breast cancer cell line, the inhibitors allowed an imprinted tumor suppressing gene, ARHI, to re-express, which helped stop the growth of the cancer cells and led to cancer cell death.

"The study data demonstrates that HDACi's bring back the brakes of the car, halting cell growth and promoting cell death," added Sarkar, who also is a faculty member at the Genome Science Institute at Boston University. "These results provide a model to investigate the re-expression of tumor suppressor genes, including imprinted genes, in many forms of breast cancer."

This study needs further investigation but raises the possibility of using this type of combination therapy for diverse types of breast cancers including those that are hormone refractory and develop drug resistance to conventional chemotherapy.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Megan A. Mataga, Shoshana Rosenthal, Sarah Heerboth, Amrita Devalapalli, Shannon Kokolus, Leah R. Evans, Mckenna Longacre, Genevieve Housman And Sibaji Sarkar. Anti-breast Cancer Effects of Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors and Calpain Inhibitor. Anticancer Research, 2012 [link]

Cite This Page:

Boston University Medical Center. "In vitro study identifies potential combination therapy for breast cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120702162323.htm>.
Boston University Medical Center. (2012, July 2). In vitro study identifies potential combination therapy for breast cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120702162323.htm
Boston University Medical Center. "In vitro study identifies potential combination therapy for breast cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120702162323.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. 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