"JACKSON, Miss. - The following news release is from the University of Mississippi Medical Center:
A drug used to treat leukemia patients shows promise in fighting triple-negative breast cancer, a particularly aggressive subtype often affecting African-American women, researchers at the University of Mississippi Medical Center Cancer Institute said.
Scientists found roughly half of more than 800 triple-negative tumor samples they tested exhibited a key protein in the cells’ nuclei. Further experiments proved the drug imatinib mesylate targets that protein and stops the growth process.
“By identifying a biomarker and oncogene found in about half of all triple-negative cases, we were able to successfully target and kill tumor cells in that subset of triple-negative samples,” said Dr. Wael M. ElShamy, UMMC associate professor of biochemistry and Cancer Institute researcher.
“The next step is to organize a phase one clinical trial, where we would test this drug in a small number of women with this cancer subtype in addition to their regular treatment. We hope to be able to start in that process shortly.”