Prostate Drug for Breast Cancer?

A male hormone-blocker currently used to treat prostate cancer may also benefit breast cancer patients.

By | June 29, 2011

Breast cancerWIKIMEDIA COMMONS, NCI

While many breast cancers can be treated by reducing levels of the female hormone estrogen, some breast cancers may also respond to a reduction in the male hormone, androgen, according to a study published last week (June 24) in The EMBO Journal.

Cancers that express the estrogen receptor (ER), require the hormone for growth, which is why drugs that deplete its availability in the body have proven an effective treatment for the 30 percent of breast cancers expressing this receptor.  But there is another subset of breast cancers that are untreatable with estrogen-blocking drugs because they only express the androgen receptor, and no ER. To find out how the androgen receptor affected the growth of these breast cancers, the authors examined tumors only expressing the androgen receptor and showed that it activated a similar genetic program as the estrogen receptor, resulting in tumor growth. The finding suggests that existing androgen-receptor-blocking drugs could help treat the 8-12 percent of breast cancer patients with this specific subtype, called molecular apocrine cancer.

For other examples of existing drugs with new applications, read our biobusiness story Teaching an Old Drug New Tricks in The Scientist's April Issue.

(Hat tip to Fierce Biotech Research.)

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Popular Now

  1. Broad Wins CRISPR Patent Interference Case
    Daily News Broad Wins CRISPR Patent Interference Case

    The USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board has ruled in favor of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard retaining intellectual property rights covered by its patents for CRISPR gene-editing technology.

  2. Cannibalism: Not That Weird
    Reading Frames Cannibalism: Not That Weird

    Eating members of your own species might turn the stomach of the average human, but some animal species make a habit of dining on their own.

  3. Henrietta Lacks’s Family Seeks Compensation
  4. Can Plants Learn to Associate Stimuli with Reward?
Business Birmingham