Experimental Compound Could Broaden HER2-targeted Approach to BC

Experimental Compound Could Broaden HER2-targeted Approach to BC
By targeting small regulatory molecules called microRNAs (miRNAs), researchers were able to reprogram breast cancer cells and render them sensitive to HER2-targeting medicines, such as Herceptin (trastuzumab) and Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab emtansine), a study shows. The study, "A Designed Small Molecule Inhibitor of a Non-Coding RNA Sensitizes HER2 Negative Cancers to Herceptin," was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. About a fifth of breast cancers are driven by the protein HER2. This protein acts to send signals that drive excessive cell growth, and is associated with more aggressive cancers. Breast cancers are often divided into HER2-positive and HER2-negative. For the former, treatments such as Herceptin — an antibody that targets and inhibits HER2 — and Kadcyla — the same as Herceptin but bound to a toxic payload — can be life-saving. But HER2-negative cases require other treatment options. Whether a patient will respond to HER2-targeted treatments has long been thought to be an immutable property of tumors, but the new study suggests this might not be the case for future patients. The researchers at The Scripps Research Institute, in Florida, were initially interested in using medications to target miRNAs. Unlike the more familiar messenger RNA — which takes the code from the genomic DNA in the cell nucleus to the protein-making machinery outside — miR
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