Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer reversed when drug paired with anti-malaria agent

Date:
June 13, 2014
Source:
Georgetown University Medical Center
Summary:
The inexpensive anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine reverses resistance to tamoxifen, a widely used breast cancer drug, in mice. “Tamoxifen resistance when treating breast cancer is a big issue in the clinic, and we believe our findings provide a very promising fix to the problem,” says the study’s senior investigator.

The inexpensive anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) reverses resistance to tamoxifen, a widely used breast cancer drug, in mice.

In the June 15 issue of Clinical Cancer Research, investigators from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center say adding HCQ to tamoxifen could provide a new treatment option for some women with advanced, postmenopausal estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer. The ER+ subtype accounts for an estimated 70 percent of all breast cancers. While many of these women are treated with tamoxifen, which blocks estrogen from fueling the tumor, 50 percent of these cancers will either not respond or will become resistant to tamoxifen over time.

"Tamoxifen resistance when treating breast cancer is a big issue in the clinic, and we believe our findings provide a very promising fix to the problem," says the study's senior investigator, Robert Clarke, PhD, DSc, dean for research at Georgetown University Medical center, and co-director of the breast cancer program at Georgetown Lombardi.

Clarke adds that both drugs are inexpensive, on the market and have a well-defined safety profile.

HCQ was developed to treat malaria, but has since been repurposed as therapy for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. The study is the first to test HCQ's ability to restore breast cancer cell sensitivity to tamoxifen or to a different anti-estrogen drug known as faslodex.

The research team, led by first author Katherine Cook, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow in the tumor biology department at Georgetown Lombardi, purposely set out to test HCQ in mice with either tamoxifen or faslodex-resistant human breast cancer cells.

Previous research led by Clarke and Cook found that tamoxifen resistance occurs because a pro-survival pathway is switched on in breast cancer cells. HCQ functions by turning off that very same molecular pathway, Cook says.

The researchers found that the combination of tamoxifen and HCQ is more effective than faslodex and HCQ due to activities within the tumor's microenvironment. "Faslodex and tamoxifen, while both effective as antiestrogen therapies, have different effects on the immune system thus making the combination of faslodex and HCQ less effective," says Cook.

"Many people have been trying combinations of drugs to restore the ability of tamoxifen to fight breast cancer. We believe this pairing is very worthy of additional research, as well as clinical study," she says.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. K. L. Cook, A. Warri, D. R. Soto-Pantoja, P. A. Clarke, M. I. Cruz, A. Zwart, R. Clarke. Hydroxychloroquine Inhibits Autophagy to Potentiate Antiestrogen Responsiveness in ER Breast Cancer. Clinical Cancer Research, 2014; 20 (12): 3222 DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-13-3227

Cite This Page:

Georgetown University Medical Center. "Tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer reversed when drug paired with anti-malaria agent." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140613084502.htm>.
Georgetown University Medical Center. (2014, June 13). Tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer reversed when drug paired with anti-malaria agent. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140613084502.htm
Georgetown University Medical Center. "Tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer reversed when drug paired with anti-malaria agent." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140613084502.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
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