Behind the Study: Inhibition of Resistant Triple-negative Breast Cancer Cells

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September 19, 2022

Dr. Balraj Singh from the Department of Breast Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, describes a recent research paper he co-authored that was published by Oncotarget, entitled, “Inhibition of resistant triple-negative breast cancer cells with low-dose 6-mercaptopurine and 5-azacitidine.” DOI - https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.27922 Correspondence to - Anthony Lucci - alucci@mdanderson.org, and Balraj Singh - bsingh@mdanderson.org Abstract Highly adaptable breast cancer cells that can opportunistically switch between proliferation and quiescence are often responsible for disease relapse. We have developed a function-based selection strategy for such resistant cells, exemplified by SUM149-MA and FC-IBC02-MA triple-negative breast cancer cells. We have also reported that a lengthy treatment with low-dose 6-mercaptopurine, a clinically useful anti-inflammatory drug, inhibits such resistant cells. To more rigorously test the clinical suitability of 6-mercaptopurine, here we investigated effects of further lowering its dose and the possibility of overcoming resistance to single-drug treatment by combining the drug with another ribonucleoside analog 5-azacitidine. We found that that a lengthy treatment with 1 μM 5-azacitidine, without a significant effect on cell proliferation, sensitized cancer cells to the inhibitory effects of low-dose 6-mercaptopurine. Importantly, treatment for several weeks with low doses of 6-mercaptopurine and/or 5-azacitidine did not render cancer cells resistant to chemotherapeutic drugs doxorubicin or paclitaxel. In fact, the cells became more sensitive to chemotherapeutic drugs upon treatment with 6-mercaptopurine and/or 5-azacitidine. Our analyses of protein markers of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition indicated that treatments with 6-mercaptopurine and/or 5-azacitidine do not significantly reverse this process in our model. Our results showed that safe drugs such as low-dose 6-mercaptopurine singly or combined with 5-azacitidine, which are suitable for use prior to disease relapse, have a potential of inhibiting highly resistant triple-negative breast cancer cells. Sign up for free Altmetric alerts about this article - https://oncotarget.altmetric.com/details/email_updates?id=10.18632%2Foncotarget.27922 Press release - https://www.oncotarget.com/news/pr/inhibition-of-resistant-triple-negative-breast-cancer-cells/ Keywords - resistant TNBC, minimal residual disease, intratumor heterogeneity, breast cancer relapse, metastasis prevention About Oncotarget Oncotarget is a primarily oncology-focused, peer-reviewed, open access journal. Papers are published continuously within yearly volumes in their final and complete form and then quickly released to Pubmed. To learn more about Oncotarget, please visit https://www.oncotarget.com and connect with us: SoundCloud - https://soundcloud.com/oncotarget Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Oncotarget/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/oncotarget Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/oncotargetjrnl/ YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/OncotargetYouTube LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/oncotarget Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/oncotarget/ Reddit - https://www.reddit.com/user/Oncotarget/ Media Contact MEDIA@IMPACTJOURNALS.COM 18009220957

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