New drug may be used to combat triple-negative breast cancer

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New drug may be used to combat triple-negative breast cancer

Postby whbio » Mar 15 2017 2:36 pm

An international research team finds that a new antibody-drug conjugate may be used to treat patients with advanced triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), the most aggressive breast cancer.

The study is carried out by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, University of Colorado Cancer Center, University of Florida Health Cancer Center, Indiana University Health Center for Cancer Care, Texas Oncology-Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center, Columbia University Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medicine, Helen F. Graham Cancer Center, and Immunomedics.

A transmembrane glycoprotein called tumor-associated calcium signal transducer 2 (TROP-2) is overexpressed in many TNBCs and has been found to drive tumor growth. For this reason, Trop-2 is becoming an attractive drug target. Sacituzumab govitecan is one such drug that targets the Trop-2 protein. Sacituzumab govitecan is a conjugate of the humanized anti-Trop-2 monoclonal antibody linked with SN-38, the active metabolite of irinotecan. Irinotecan is a chemotherapy drug used to treat several different types of cancer and it works by inhibiting a key enzyme involved in cell division.

Study first author Aditya Bardia and colleagues conducted a phase 2 clinical trial of sacituzumab govitecan. A total of 69 patients with metastatic TNBC were treated with the drug. The researchers found that 21 patients (30%) had significant response: their tumors became much smaller. Moreover, the median response duration is 8.9 months and the clinical benefit rate was 46%.

TNBC is extremely hard to treat because it does not have estrogen and progesterone receptors and HER2. Currently, only 15-20% of TNBC patients with metastatic disease respond to the standard chemotherapy and the average survival is only about one year.

To find more effective treatment for the devastating disease, this study evaluated the antibody-drug conjugate, sacituzumab govitecan. Findings of this study, which were published online before print March 2017 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, suggested that the drug was well tolerated and led to early and durable objective responses.

Antibody-drug conjugates have emerged as a new therapeutic strategy, in which antibodies are used to deliver cytotoxic agents to cancer. Further investigation is required to test the effect of sacituzumab govitecan in TNBC and to identify whether Trop-2 could be a predictive biomarker of patient response.

Besides, Cusabio is a supplier of antibodies and proteins.
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