BOSTON, Aug. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a new paper in Cancer Cell,
a team led by Judy Lieberman, PhD, of Boston Children's Hospital's Program in
Cellular and Molecular Medicine reports "triple-negative" breast cancers may be
vulnerable to drugs that attack the proteasome. This cellular structure acts as
the cell's waste disposal, breaking down damaged or unneeded proteins.
These cancers, which lack the three major therapeutic markers for breast
cancer--the estrogen, progesterone and HER2 receptors--are very aggressive and
difficult to treat. They mostly affect younger women and have the worst
prognosis of all breast cancers.
By selectively turning genes off throughout the genomes of triple-negative tumor
cells in vitro, Lieberman's team found that these cells absolutely require
active proteasomes in order to live. When turned off, the cells die.
These data suggest that triple-negative breast cancers may respond to treatment
with drugs similar to bortezomib (Velcade(R)), a proteasome inhibitor that
revolutionized the care of patients with the blood cancer multiple myeloma.
The study was supported by the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research
Program, the National Cancer Institute (grant number R01CA146445) and the Breast
Cancer Research Foundation.
Boston Children's Hospital is home to the world's largest research enterprise
based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries have benefited both
children and adults since 1869. More than 1,100 scientists, including seven
members of the National Academy of Sciences, 13 members of the Institute of
Medicine and 14 members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Boston
Children's research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Boston
Children's today is a 395-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent
health care grounded in the values of excellence in patient care and sensitivity
to the complex needs and diversity of children and families. Boston Children's
is also the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For
more information about research and clinical innovation at Boston Children's,
Boston Children's Hospital
SOURCE Boston Children's Hospital