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Saúde / 22/07/2021


Treatment can make breast cancer regress 6 times faster

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Treatment can make breast cancer regress 6 times faster

USP researchers have discovered a compound that can help cure breast cancer. The treatment can accelerate tumor regression by up to six times, even in the most aggressive types.

The process includes a step before chemotherapy with the use of an identified drug, which weakens the tumor cells. The work was published in the scientific journal Science Signaling.

In addition to researchers USP, specialists Harvard, in the United States, contributed to the study.

Cell Metabolism

One of the authors of the research, Vinícius Guimarães Ferreira, said that the answer for the good results is in the cellular metabolism.

“We surveyed 192 compounds, which were in a library of compounds, of drugs, in the laboratory. We already knew these compounds would operate in the cell's metabolism. We tested to see which one specifically targeted the triple-negative cell,” he said.

Triple negative is what the most severe type of breast cancer is called.

At Harvard, Vinícius had the supervision and contribution of Professor Anthony Letai, a specialist in the evaluation of mechanisms that lead to tumor cells' death.

“He works with the following vision: “I don't necessarily want to find a compound that alone kills the cell, but I want to look for a compound that brings the cell closer to dying,” he explained.

According to the researchers, when the treatment against the tumor is more efficient, the patient is less likely to have side effects caused by the drugs.

“It's like a ravine, you push the cell close to the ravine to enter the chemotherapy and give that last push”, compared Vinícius.

ideal molecule

The first part of the study looked at the available compounds to find the ideal molecule. “In the end, we found some that were the most promising and we went to the animal model”, indicated the researcher. The drugs that made the tumors more vulnerable were tested in mice with breast cancer.

The tests lasted 21 days and showed very encouraging results. The answer was that using only chemotherapy drugs, there was a 10% regression. In the combined treatment, the tumor shrank 60%. "The therapy was 500% more effective."

The researchers point out that, according to data the American Cancer Society, triple-negative breast cancer accounts for about 10% to 15% of breast cancers and is more common in women under 40 years of age. It is a type of cancer that grows faster, with limited treatment options.

And in addition to this research, other scientists at USP have discovered that Zika virus is capable of killing brain tumors. To help make treatment accessible to the population, we are running an online fundraising campaign.

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