Scientists Identify Drug Target As The First Precision Breast Cancer Therapy

Scientists Identify Drug Target As The First Precision Breast Cancer Therapy
A research team led by scientists at the Cancer Research Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) managed to identify a Pin1 enzyme inhibitor that can block tumor growth in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) and triple negative breast cancer. Findings were recently published in Nature Medicine. Targeted cancer therapies function by blocking one oncogenic pathway in order to stop tumor growth; however, tumors usually regrow due to their capacity to evade therapies. Further, tumors contain cancer stem cells that seem to be responsible for their initiation, drug resistance and metastasis; to eradicate these cancer stem cells might be crucial to achieve remission that can actually last for long periods. Investigators have found that the vitamin A derivative ATRA (all-trans retinoic acid) is able to block multiple cancer-driving pathways and eliminate cancer stem cells  at the same time through degrading the Pin1 enzyme. “Pin1 changes protein shape through proline-directed phosphorylation, which is a major control mechanism for disease. Pin1 is a common key regulator in many types of cancer, and as a result, can control over 50 oncogenes and tumor suppressors, many of which are known to also control cancer stem cells,” explained Dr. Kun Ping Lu, co-senior author, who also co-discovered the enzyme back in 1996. U
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