Basal-like breast cancer inhibited by Zoledronic acid

Basal-like breast cancer inhibited by Zoledronic acid

Women with basal-like breast cancer (BLBC) should ask their doctors about the osteoporosis drug, Zolendronic acid - it could have a huge impact on their survival.

About 20% of women with breast cancer have an aggressive basal-like breast cancer, and now research shows that a common osteoporosis drug is effective against the main driver.

Basal-like breast cancer is particularly found in younger women and there is a distinct lack of drug therapies. 

Chris Woollams, a founder of CANCERactive and former Oxford University Biochemist, said, "BLBC is a subtype of breast cancer and distinguished by its genetic make up and progression rate. Although found across all types of breast cancer, it is more common in Triple Negative Breast Cancer or TNBC. This is an interesting research finding if zolendronic acid can work."

A study by Professor Chenfang Dong of Zhejiang University School of Medicine in Hangzhou, China has shown that UGT8 levels are high in women with the cancer, and as they increase so does tumour size and aggression. UGT8 is actually the precursor to Sulfatide, a lipid on the surface of cancer cells and which helps them not only survive but become aggressive and increases metastases

Next, the researchers took the common osteoporosis drug, Zoledronic acid, known to inhibit UGT8, and injected it into mice with this form of breast cancer. The cancers immediately stopped progressing, and metastases stopped.

If this were replicated in humans, zoledronic acid could be an absolute life-saver to a large number of women with breast cancer.

Go to: Breast cancer overview and alternative treatments

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