The most aggressive form of breast cancer is inflammatory breast cancer, which is known for its rapid development, resistance to chemotherapy, early metastases, and poor prognosis. Because its triple-negative breast cancer phenotype does not have the receptors that promote tumor growth, endocrine therapy, molecular targeting of the HER-2 receptor, and other common treatments are ineffective against the disease. Since no targeted therapy exists for this subtype, standard therapy is currently a combination of conventional cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agents.
According to a study published online in the International Journal of Oncology, researchers found a brain cancer cell mechanism that leads to chemotherapy resistance. Lead researcher Mateusz Opyrchal, MD, PhD, and colleagues at Roswell Park Cancer Institute performed a study where they determined the extent to which chromosomal instability and resistance to chemotherapy are linked to CD44+/CD24-/Low stem-like phenotype through breast cancer lines.
Results indicated that although CD44+/CD24-/Low cancer stem cells were resistant to standard therapy, they responded to the specific cyclin-dependent kinase 2 inhibitor SU9516. Through this study, researchers concluded that a combination of conventional chemotherapy with small-molecule inhibitors of the CDK2 cell cycle kinase could be a novel therapy for patients with inflammatory breast cancer.
Opyrchal said before human trials can begin, the results from this study need to be confirmed.
Researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) have identified a mechanism of breast cancer cells that leads to chemotherapy resistance in inflammatory breast cancer. These preclinical findings, published online ahead of print in the International Journal of Oncology, provide evidence for a potential therapeutic approach that will restore sensitivity to chemotherapy and improve treatment of inflammatory breast cancer tumors.
“This study forms the basis for future research in patients with breast cancer and offers hope for targeted therapy for patients with aggressive triple-negative inflammatory breast cancer,” said lead researcher Mateusz Opyrchal, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Oncology at RPCI.