Navigation Links
Inflammatory pathway spurs cancer stem cells to resist HER2-targeted breast cancer treatment

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Breast cancer treatments such as Herceptin that target a marker called HER2 have dramatically improved outcomes for women with this type of cancer. But nearly half of these cancers are resistant to Herceptin from the start and almost all of them will eventually become resistant.

Now, researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered one reason why the cancer cells become resistant: They turn on a completely different pathway, one that is involved in inflammation, fueling the cancer independently of HER2.

The pathway at work involves a protein called Interleukin-6, or IL-6. The researchers also showed in mice that a drug that blocks IL-6 can stop this effect and overcome the Herceptin resistance.

"Resistance to HER2-targeted therapies remains a major challenge in treating breast cancer. Our study suggests that an IL-6 inhibitor in combination with Herceptin may be a valuable addition for treating HER2-positive breast cancer," says senior study author Max S. Wicha, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Oncology and director of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Results of the study will be published in the Aug. 24 issue of Molecular Cell.

Not only are these cells resistant to Herceptin, but they develop higher proportions of cancer stem cells, the small number of cells within a tumor that fuel the growth and spread. This makes the tumor extremely aggressive and likely to spread throughout the body. The IL-6 inhibitor also was shown to prevent this increase in cancer stem cells.

"There is evidence that patients with a lot of IL-6 tend to do poorly. What we found now is that in many of the Herceptin-resistant breast cancers, the IL-6 inflammation loop is driving the cancer stem cell," says lead study author Hasan Korkaya, D.V.M., Ph.D., research assistant professor of internal medicine at the U-M Medical School.

The researchers found that blocking the IL-6 inflammatory loop almost completely blocked the cancer and the stem cells. Mice treated with the IL-6 blocker along with Herceptin immediately after the cancer developed never became resistant to Herceptin.

IL-6 is known to play a role in inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, as well as obesity and cancer. Tocilizumab, a drug that targets this protein, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

The researchers are developing a clinical trial to test the IL-6 blocker along with Herceptin. That trial will likely open early in 2013.

Breast cancer statistics: 229,060 Americans will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and 39,920 will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society


Contact: Nicole Fawcett
University of Michigan Health System

Related medicine news :

1. Decreasing cancer risk associated with inflammatory bowel disease
2. Discovery improves understanding of early onset inflammatory disease
3. New anti-inflammatory drugs pinch off reactive oxygen species at the source
4. New Treatments Emerging from Immune and Inflammatory Disease R&D Pipelines
5. Not taking gastroprotective drugs prescribed with anti-inflammatory medicines
6. Researchers develop a new cell and animal model of inflammatory breast cancer
7. How tumor cells create their own pathways
8. Following the genomic pathways to stop the spread of cancer
9. Discovery explains how cellular pathways converge to regulate food intake and body weight
10. Researchers block pathway to cancer cell replication
11. Grb2 holds powerful molecular signaling pathway in check
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, ... ... (AIS) is pleased to announce the speakers for “Value-Based Payer-Provider Partnerships: Three ... learned from three innovative value-based care arrangements: Essentia Health and UCare, MissionPoint ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Vasont Systems, a top component ... (VUI) extension unites with Syncro Soft’s latest software update, oXygen XML editor Version ... with the latest release of oXygen® XML editor and the Vasont® CCMS. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Scott Newman MD, FACS ... select few plastic surgeons in the New York City area to utilize the ... world’s first heat-induced laser treatment for fat loss in the abdomen, flanks, and ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... TransPack Volume 6 features 30 customizable ... from scrolling web-styled transitions to wipes with blur & drop shadow options. Utilize ... Seamlessly transition from one clip to the next with TransPack's easily customizable styles. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... strategic partnership at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) 2015 conference. ... providers of cutting-edge dictation and speech-enabled documentation software, announced their partnership today ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... iCAD, Inc. (Nasdaq: ICAD ) ... solutions for advanced image analysis and workflow tools ... Radiological Society of North American (RSNA) 2015 Annual ... November 29 to December 4, 2015. The company ... automated breast density assessment solution, PowerLook® Advanced Mammography ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... SALT LAKE CITY , Nov. 30, 2015 ... Systems (NYSE: VAR ) will exhibit a broader array ... meeting of the Radiological Society of North America ... The Varian exhibit at the meeting will feature X-ray components ... Cardinal CT tube, a line of products from Varian,s Claymount ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Nov. 30, 2015  Novartis will demonstrate the strength ... th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting. ... as well as supportive care, including key findings in ... cell therapies. The ASH Annual Meeting will be held ... Novartis Oncology . "We will be presenting ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: