New functional understanding outlines therapy for untreatable breast cancer

Monday, March 7, 2011 - 11:01 in Health & Medicine

Cancer biologists from the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research have been part of a collaborative effort that identified a novel rationale for the treatment of currently not curable triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC). Using an array of state of the art technologies, they found that in these cancers the protein tyrosine phosphatase PTPN12 is compromised. Importantly, these researchers discovered that PTPN12 acts in normal cells to suppress the activity of multiple protein tyrosine kinases in concert. In TNBC cells, tumor causing protein tyrosine kinases such as HER2, EGFR, and PDGFR- are activated due to the loss of function of PTPN12. A novel therapeutic approach for TNBC would therefore combine different protein kinase inhibitors based on the cancer-specific profile of activated protein kinases.

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