Tumor cell biologists at City of Hope have identified a new way of overcoming breast cancer cells that are resistant to current drugs.
Some breast cancers are resistant to treatments called aromatase inhibitors. They block an enzyme the body uses to make estrogen. This starves cancer cells because they need estrogen to survive. But once the cells are resistant to the inhibitors, the cancers can return and spread.
To get the upper hand on breast cancer, researchers have focused on HSP90, a protein building block. When the researchers developed an experimental drug that inhibited HSP90 they had success; even the therapy-resistant cells were unable to grow.
Even more exciting, the combination of the experimental drug and the aromatase inhibitors was greater than the power of each alone.
The researchers hope to move their new therapy to clinical trials. They are eager to find out whether the therapy will save lives — and so are we.