Novel therapeutic target for patients with triple-negative breast cancer has been found by a study at the Baylor College of Medicine, published in the journal Nature Communications.
The team found that an enzyme called MAPK4 is critical in cancer growth and plays an important role in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC a devastating form of breast cancer) and its resistance to certain therapies.
‘Novel therapeutic target for patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC a devastating form of breast cancer) has been discovered. An enzyme called MAPK4 is found to play a critical role in TNBC.’
It is found that 70 to 80% of TNBC (30% or more in the basal-like breast cancer subtype) expresses significant levels of MAPK4.
Moreover, eliminating MAPK4 reduced human TNBC cell growth in animal models and sensitized the cells to therapies (especially therapies blocking PI3K cancer-growth-promoting signaling pathway).
“Altogether, our findings suggest a new therapeutic opportunity for TNBC based on MAPK4 expression, perhaps including a combination of inhibitors to help control cancer growth. Future studies will help clarify this idea,” says corresponding author Dr. Feng Yang, assistant professor of molecular and cellular biology and a member of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor.