Saturday, December 31, 2016
Nanoparticles Could Help Overcome Treatment-Resistant Breast Cancer - NANOWORLD
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine have been able to generate multifunctional RNA nanoparticles that could overcome treatment resistance in breast cancer, potentially making existing treatments more effective in these patients.
The study, published in the Dec. 14, 2016, online edition of American Chemical Society’s ACS Nano and led by Xiaoting Zhang, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Cancer Biology at the UC College of Medicine, shows that using a nanodelivery system to target HER2-positive breast cancer and stop production of the protein MED1 could slow tumor growth, stop cancer from spreading and sensitize the cancer cells to treatment with tamoxifen, a known therapy for estrogen-driven cancer.
MED1 is a protein often produced at abnormally high levels in breast cancer cells that when eliminated is found to stop cancer cell growth. HER2-positive breast cancer involves amplification of a gene encoding, or programming, the protein known as human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, which also promotes the growth of cancer cells. MED1 co-produces (co-expresses) and co-amplifies with HER2 in most cases, and Zhang’s previous studies have shown their interaction plays key roles in anti-estrogen treatment resistance.