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Beating Back Aggressive Breast Cancer

Study finds combination approach suppresses tougher forms of disease

TUESDAY, Sept. 30, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- Disrupting two cell mechanisms in combination can suppress the growth of aggressive breast cancer in mice, scientists at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have found.

That discovery is reported in a study in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The research says that inhibiting both the proteins responsible for breast cancer growth and those responsible for the formation of new blood vessels slows the growth of aggressive tumors.

The scientists also found that mice with a mutation commonly found in human breast cancers developed tumors that were able to grow despite a defect in new blood vessel formation (angiogenesis).

When these mice with the mutation were also treated with a chemotherapy drug under development at Memorial Sloan-Kettering that inhibits a cell survival protein called Hsp90, the chemotherapy completely suppressed tumor growth.

The findings suggest that combining agents that target the two cellular functions should be evaluated for treatment of advanced breast cancer.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about breast cancer.

SOURCE: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, news release, Sept. 29, 2003
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