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Copper depletion therapy keeps high-risk triple-negative breast cancer at bay
Date:2/13/2013

Vahdat says.

Copper is critical to mobilizing these cells. Copper is essential to the metastatic process. It is a key component of enzymes that help turn on angiogenesis in the tumor microenvironment, and it also appears to play a role in directing cancer cell migration and invasion, according to researchers.

TM is a copper chelation compound used to treat Wilson's disease, a hereditary copper metabolism disorder, and has been studied in phase I and phase II clinical trials for a number of disorders. Animal studies have demonstrated that depleting copper decreases proliferation of EPCs, as well as blood vessel formation and tumor growth.

Dr. Vahdat's study is the first human clinical trial to utilize a copper depletion strategy to modulate EPCs in breast cancer patients with an extraordinarily high risk of relapse from hidden residual disease. Most of the studies in other solid tumors with visible advanced disease have been disappointing, say researchers.

Despite improvements in breast cancer therapy, there is significant risk of relapse in a high-risk subset of patients. The risk of relapse in stage 3 patients is 50-75 percent over five years, and patients with stage 4 breast cancer always recur. Triple-negative breast cancer patients have a poorer prognosis even when diagnosed in early disease stages.

"These triple-negative patients represent a substantial proportion of metastatic breast cancer patients," says Dr. Vahdat. "These are the patients that need the most attention, which is why we have focused most of the resources of our Metastases Research Program on this problem."

In the study, researchers found that 75 percent of patients achieved the copper depletion target using TM after one month of therapy, and that copper depletion was most efficient (91 percent) in patients with triple-negative tumors, compared to other tumor types (41 percent). In copper-depleted patients only, there was a significant redu
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Contact: Lauren Woods
Law2014@med.cornell.edu
646-317-7401
Weill Cornell Medical College
Source:Eurekalert

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