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Karmanos Cancer Institute Researchers Present Breast Cancer Advancements at Conference
Date:4/20/2009

Dr. Burger says the findings offer particular hope to those women battling triple-negative breast cancer.

"We could now find a way to treat every kind of invasive, metastatic breast cancer, the ER-positive and ER-negative types with AFP464," she said. "The synergism is very impressive. We always knew vorinostat can reprogram the expression of cancer cells."

AFP464 has been in Phase I clinical trial for the last year and a half, where doses were given to patients with solid tumors. Dr. Burger says the next step is to take the anti-cancer agent to the second phase, where researchers administer to triple-negative breast cancer patients the drug alone or in combination with vorinostat. She expects that to occur in the next year and said that Karmanos could host one of those second-phase trials.

"We are currently conducting animal experiments with the single agents and the drug combination," Dr. Burger said. "Triple-negative breast cancers might respond against that drug (AFP464)."

Triple-negative breast cancer afflicts mostly young women under the age of 40 and is more prevalent in the African-American community. About 182,460 women in the United States were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2008 and about 40,480 will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. Dr. Burger said that about 14 percent to 18 percent of breast cancer cases are triple-negative.

She expects that this research could translate to real-world applications in the next five years.

"These are targeted agents that are being tested," Dr. Burger said. "Having a drug available to treat triple-negative breast cancer would be a major step in fighting this disease."

Located in mid-town Detroit, MI, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute is one of 40 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. C
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SOURCE Karmanos Cancer Institute
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