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Scientists identify potential new target for treating triple negative breast cancer
Date:11/16/2010

, but the researchers tested it to see whether inhibiting ADAM and EGFR simultaneously would work synergistically. "We did not observe any additional benefit when we combined the ADAM inhibitor with gefitinib; however, adding gefitinib 72 hours after ADAM inhibitor treatment was more effective than adding both inhibitors simultaneously, although this did not reach statistical significance."

In addition, another, as yet un-named compound that blocks both ADAM10 and ADAM17 resulted in significant effect on a range of TNBC cell lines. "We found that it reduced the growth of these cells by up to 91%," she said. "We have also found that treatment of TNBC cells with this compound reduced their ability to migrate, a process that is vital for the progression of cancer.

"Triple negative breast cancers comprise 10-20% of all breast cancer cases. Women with TNBC tend to present with higher grade, larger tumours, are younger at diagnosis, have a higher incidence of metastases and have a shorter time to recurrence compared to other breast cancer types. One reason for the poor prognosis for this group is the lack of targeted therapies for these women. Having found that an ADAM inhibitor can reduce the proliferation of TNBC cell lines, we hope that ADAMs may be a useful therapeutic target."

The scientists hope that inhibiting ADAMs might also be a possible treatment for other cancers in which members of the EGFR 'family' are active. In addition to EGFR, the 'family' consists of HER2, HER3 and HER4, and these are implicated in a number of cancers such as lung, colorectal, head and neck, and pancreatic cancers.

"Theoretically, inhibiting ADAMs should block downstream signalling from all four EGFR family members and thus potentially reduce cancer progression. We are excited that we have seen an effect in this particularly aggressive subgroup of breast cancers but propose that we will see an effect in other cancer settings also," said Dr McGowan.'/>"/>

Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Source:Eurekalert

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