Triple Negative Breast Cancer Treatment With A Leptin Receptor Blocker
Posted Mar 09 2011 10:43am
Triple negative breast cancers are an aggressive form of breast cancer that makes up 10-20% of all breast cancers. This form of breast cancer generally occurs more frequently in younger women and is linked with worse outcomes. Unfortunately, few, if any, targeted breast cancer treatments for this form of breast cancer have proven safe and/or effective. As such there is clearly a need for safe and effective targeted triple negative breast cancer treatments.
Because obesity and elevated leptin levels have been linked to an increased breast cancer risk, researchers at Temple University explored the impact of blocking leptin receptor function on triple negative breast cancer development. Using multiple research models, the study investigators assessed the levels of leptin and the leptin receptor in human subjects and the effect of a leptin receptor blocker (Allo-aca) on breast cancer cell growth in cell cultures and mice implanted with triple negative breast cancer cells. The researchers reported that
Leptin was present in 86% of human triple negative breast cancer tissues, while the leptin receptor was were present in 92% of cases.
The leptin receptor blocker, Allo-aca, suppressed breast cancer cell growth.
Treatment with Allo-aca increased the survival time of mice implanted with triple negative breast cancer cells by about 60-80% (from 15.4 days to 24 - 28 days) depending on the dose of the blocker given.
In comparison with the increase in survival time seen with Allo-aca treatment, treatment with the cancer drug cisplatin only increased survival by 21% to 18.6 days.
No serious side effects were observed with Allo-aca; however, treatment with this leptin blocker caused a modest 6-10% weight gain.
This is an exciting and potentially important breast cancer research study in regards to the development of new breast cancer treatments. While use in human breast cancer patients remains a ways off, this new study suggests that blocking the action of leptin by blocking the leptin receptor in breast cancer tissues can suppress the growth and development of triple negative breast cancer. With the critical need for targeted breast cancer treatments for triple negative breast cancer patients, these new results are a promising step in the right direction. Further research into the safety and effectiveness of leptin receptor blockers like Allo-aca in both animal models of breast cancer and in human patients will be needed before this or similar breast cancer treatments will become available. However, based on this and other studies, the future looks promising for targeted breast cancer treatments for triple negative breast cancer patients.