A new therapy combination could provide better results for an aggressive form of breast cancer referred to as "triple negative." A dual-acting therapeutic strategy, the treatment involves utilizing multiple cancer drugs and therapies to combine their forces against the cancer.
Developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science, the combination therapy is being tested as a means of combating triple-negative breast cancer. Triple-negative breast cancers are those cancers which have no receptors for any of the three common hormones usually used as targets for anti-cancer drugs. Treatment for triple-negative breast cancer is often limited to surgery and standard chemotherapy, with outcomes being less likely to be totally effective.
Researchers identified higher levels of specific molecules that can be targeted.
These higher levels of EGFR and PYK2 molecules were found to be common in patients diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer. Both play key roles in breast cancer mutation and metastasis. Inhibiting either of them has little effect on cancer, but inhibiting both can mean tumor reduction on a more potent scale.
A report from the Weizmann Institute says that "Upon further investigation, [researcher and professor Sima] Lev and her team were able to identify the exact molecular pathways and protein interactions in which EGFR and PYK2 involvement leads to tumor growth and survival, and the results appear to explain the potent effect when they are inhibited together."
About one in five breast cancers are triple-negative, affecting over 300,000 women globally every year.