Researchers Identify Genes that Render Breast Cancer Resistant to Tamoxifen

Researchers Identify Genes that Render Breast Cancer Resistant to Tamoxifen
Most incurable breast cancers occur in women with recurrent, estrogen receptor (ER)-positive, metastatic tumors, so there is a critical need for therapeutic approaches that include novel, targeted strategies by which ER-positive tumors can be resensitized to endocrine therapies. Now, a team of researchers led by Zeynep Madak-Erdogan at the University of Illinois may have discovered the genetic code that determines why many patients with this aggressive cancer fail to respond to tamoxifen, the most commonly used drug for this type of breast cancer. The study, “ERα-XPO1 crosstalk controls tamoxifen sensitivity in tumors by altering ERK5 cellular localization, was published in the journal Molecular Endocrinology. According to the study's results, patients with higher levels of certain nuclear transport genes, particularly the protein XPO1, have poor survival rates and are more likely to be resistant to tamoxifen. However, the researchers found that the use of tamoxifen in combination with selinexor, an experimental drug that restrains the activity of the XPO1 protein, enhances patients' sensitivity to tamoxifen and prevents breast cancer recurrence. In their experiments, the team also identified a "signature" of 13 nuclear transp
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