A New Treatment for Triple Negative Breast Cancer Could Be Hiding In Plain Sight

By Thomas Crocker
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

By scrutinizing breast cancer cell lines, tissue grafts and samples, as well as data from The Cancer Genome Atlas, researchers at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York (CUNY) and Hunter College, along with colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and The University of Chicago, found that most individuals with triple negative breast cancer harbored the proteins mtp53 and PARP. These proteins were abundant on replicating DNA in triple negative breast cancer tumors, indicating the proteins could be fueling tumor growth.

A Potentially Transformative Advancement

The researchers analyzed existing cancer drugs in search of agents that could be combined to target mtp53 and PARP and inhibit tumor growth. They identified the PARP inhibitor talazoparib and the chemotherapeutic agent temozolomide. The team’s findings were published in the journal Cancer Research.

If the combination treatment were to prevent cancer cell replication in animal models — animal testing is the research team’s next investigatory step — a first targeted therapy for triple negative breast cancer would be closer to becoming a reality. That would be a boon for patients, especially black women, who account for a disproportionate number of triple negative breast cancer cases, according to CUNY.