ROCHESTER, Minn. — In a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Mayo Clinic researchers identified that an FDA drug approved for myelodysplastic syndrome may be useful to treat triple-negative breast cancer, which is one of the most aggressive and lethal types of breast cancer.
In this study, Mayo investigators identified that the drug 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine (decitabine) which is FDA approved for the treatment of certain hematological (blood) cancers, could significantly inhibit the growth of triple-negative breast cancers, and importantly this effect was also seen in tumors resistant to chemotherapy. This response was dependent on the presence of certain critical proteins called DNA methyl transferase proteins that are present in only a subset of triple negative breast cancers. This provides a way to identify which patients could benefit from this therapy.
“There is a great need to identify additional treatment options for triple-negative breast cancer, which is one of the most difficult to treat subtypes of breast cancer,” says Mayo researcher Liewei Wang, M.D., Ph.D. “The study is a demonstration that we can take advantage of many existing FDA approved drugs to expand their usage by better understanding the mechanisms of how they work and applying them to
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