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New Molecule Discovery Shows Promise Against Tamoxifen-Resistant Breast Cancers
Date:6/16/2008

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But almost all cancers in this category eventually become resistant to tamoxifen and, in some cases, tamoxifen may even turn the tables and start acting like estrogen, thereby fueling tumor growth.

Through extensive laboratory testing, the study authors identified a group of compounds related to TPBM that interfered with estrogen's effect on breast cancer cells via a different pathway. The molecules work by affecting the way estrogen receptors interact with a woman's DNA, the researchers said.

TPBM has the advantage of being "highly specific" and therefore much less likely to have any unwanted effects on other cells. It also works against tamoxifen when tamoxifen starts fueling tumor growth, the researchers said.

"As we look forward with all of our research and our capabilities, we'll hopefully continue to discover new ways to exploit hormone sensitivity," Lichtenfeld said. "This may be the next pathway, although we can't say that for sure... Hormonal approaches to breast cancer continue to add, literally, years to lives."

More information

For more on treating breast cancer, visit the National Cancer Institute.



SOURCES: Jay Brooks, M.D., chairman of hematology/oncology, Ochsner Health Service, Baton Rouge, La.; Len Lichtenfeld, M.D., deputy chief medical officer, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; June 16, 2008, presentation, The Endrocine Society annual meeting, San Francisco


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