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ROCK Inhibitors for the Prevention of Breast Cancer Metastasis and Tumor Relapse

Posted Apr 29 2012 8:00pm

Description of Invention:
The recent success of therapeutic approaches has significantly reduced breast cancer mortality, however, breast cancers that are diagnosed as “triple-negative” (lacking the estrogen receptors, HER2/Neu, and progesterone receptors) don't respond to these available therapies and some hormone receptor or NER2/Neu-positive breast cancers have shown a resistance to these treatments. These breast cancers account for nearly 90% of all breast cancer deaths. Therefore, examining the mechanisms by which the breast cancer cells spread from their primary sites to distant organs is an active area of research. The NIH inventors have discovered that by blocking a key biochemical route necessary for the egress of breast cancer cells into circulation, the CXCR4-Galpha13-Rho signaling pathway, they can prevent the dissemination of breast cancer cells and thereby prevent breast cancer metastasis. In particular, they have discovered that ROCK inhibitors, such as Fasudil, can be used to treat of breast cancer patients after the initial clinical intervention (i.e., surgery, radiation, chemo-radiation, or their combination) to delay or prevent patient relapse due to the metastasis of any residual or prior undetected breast cancer cells.

  • Treatment of “triple-negative” breast cancers.
  • Treatment of hormone receptor or NER2/Neu-positive breast cancers that are resistant to currently available therapies.

ROCK inhibitors can delay or prevent breast cancer metastasis in patients where there are no effective therapies currently available.

Development Status:
  • Pre-clinical
  • In vitro data available
  • In vivo data available (animal)

J Silvio Gutkind (NIDCR)
Alfredo A Molinolo (NIDCR)

Patent Status:
HHS, Reference No. E-280-2011/0
US, Application No. 61/536,434 filed 19 Sep 2011

For Licensing Information Please Contact:
Whitney Hastings
NIH Office of Technology Transfer
6011 Executive Blvd. Suite 325,
Rockville, MD 20852
United States
Phone: 301-451-7337
Fax: 301-402-0220

Ref No: 2425

Updated: 04/2012

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