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Mayo Clinic Study Shows Drug Could Effectively Treat, Prevent the Spread of Breast Cancer
Date:11/1/2007

ROCHESTER, Minn., Nov. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Mayo Clinic study of a drug that has shown promise in treating sarcoma, lung and brain cancers, demonstrates that the drug may also be effective in treating breast cancer, in particular the spread of breast cancer.

The study, which was done in mouse models, is featured on the cover of the November issue of Cancer Research.

The National Cancer Institute reports that of 240,510 breast cancer diagnoses each year, about 178,480 of those women will have invasive cancer that has spread. In breast cancer, the cancer commonly lodges in the bone, destroying it in a debilitating and painful process called osteolysis. Osteolysis can lead to bone fractures that release excess calcium into the blood causing patients to feel tired or even lose consciousness.

2-methoxyestradiol(meth-oxy-es-tra-di-ol), or 2ME2, (trade name Panzem), is currently in clinical trials by other researchers as a treatment for various cancers. Mayo Clinic recently completed a clinical trial of oral 2ME2 in multiple myeloma.

2ME2 is derived from estrogen and works by suppressing tumor growth and blocking the formation of new blood vessels that feed tumors.

"2ME2 could benefit patients because this single drug essentially combines the effects of chemotherapy (which destroys cancer cells) and antiangiogenesis drugs (which destroy blood vessels that feed tumors)," states Muzaffer Cicek, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic cell biologist in endocrine research and the corresponding author of the study.

A key part of the study is in 2ME2's ability to induce cancer cells to self-destruct, a process called apoptosis. Cells have the ability to self- destruct when damaged or infected with a virus, for example. But if a damaged cell is unable to self-destruct, it can develop into a tumor. Other studies of 2ME2 tested in other cancers, show that 2ME2 could induce cancer cells to self-destruct.

Dr. Cicek and colleagues conducted expe
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SOURCE Mayo Clinic
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