Exciting new research which was recently carried out by PhD student Naoise Synnott, Professor Joe Duffy, and Professor John Crown at St Vincent’s University Hospital and UCD, has identified a potential novel treatment for triple negative breast cancer. This type of breast cancer lacks three important biomarkers namely, estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and HER2, meaning that it cannot be treated with either hormone therapy (e.g. tamoxifen) or Herceptin. This makes this type of caner the most difficult to treat, with chemotherapy being the only current form of treatment for these patients.
Now, the BREAST-PREDICT team have identified a treatment that specifically targets p53, a gene which is responsible for driving breast cancer growth, and is the most frequently altered gene in breast cancer. In particular, it is altered in almost all cases of triple-negative breast cancer.
In a study recently published in the International Journal of Cancer and funded by both BREAST-PREDICT and the Clinical Cancer Research Trust, the team have shown that a new drug, known as APR-246, which acts by correcting or neutralising the mutant form of p53, can inhibit the growth of triple-negative breast cancer cells grown in the laboratory.
Importantly, the St Vincent’s/UCD group now hope that APR-246 can be tested in clinical trials in patients with triple negative breast cancer.
Full details of this study can be found here