The discovery of a cancer breakthrough as a “dual-action” treatment has the potential to revolutionize the fight against disease.
A STUNNING discovery has been made, with scientists developing a “dual-action” medication that targets breast cancer cells in novel ways, potentially improving treatment choices for drug-resistant patients.
Scientists at Scripps Research in Florida found the potentially revolutionary technology to target estrogen-sensitive breast cancer cells in novel ways. In these circumstances, drugs like tamoxifen, fulvestrant, or anastrozole are routinely recommended. However, through inflammatory processes, some breast tumors can gain resistance over time.
“Hormone therapy for breast cancer have been one of the greatest success stories of molecularly targeted medicines,” said lead author Kendall Nettles.
“However, a large number of patients do not respond to these treatments.
“There is an unmet medical need for more effective hormone treatments.
“This is the first time in 20 years that we’ve changed our approach.”
Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer in the United Kingdom.
Breast cancer affects about one in every eight women at some point in their lives.
Hormones like estrogen and progesterone can affect certain forms of breast cancer.
Proteins in cancer cells bind to estrogen and progesterone, allowing them to proliferate.
Prof. Nettles and her colleagues’ chemicals function by interfering with estrogen’s capacity to activate its cellular receptor in the classic method, as shown with the hormone therapy tamoxifen, as well as by a second inhibitory mechanism.
When drug-resistance mechanisms were present in cell tests, the efficacy was higher.
Doctors will give either a set of drugs called selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), such as tamoxifen, or a group of medicines called selective estrogen receptor down-regulators (SERDs), such as fulvestrant, depending on a patient’s age and if she has passed menopause.
However, according to a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, one-third of women treated with tamoxifen for early-stage breast cancer developed resistance to the treatment within two to five years.
Prof. Nettles stated that a new treatment was required immediately.
“We’re hopeful that this will be a breakthrough for treatment-resistant breast cancer,” she added.
“The compounds, thanks to a novel mechanism of action, perform everything you’d anticipate from combining two separate medications, but in one molecule.”
Breast cancer can present with a variety of symptoms, but the most common is a lump or area of thickening breast tissue.
Although most breast lumps aren’t malignant, it’s always a good idea to have them examined by a doctor.
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