AUG 10, 2020 8:18 AM PDT

A New Prognostic Biomarker for Paclitaxel Sensitivity in Breast Cancer

WRITTEN BY: Jasper Cantrell

Breast cancer is one of the deadliest cancers globally. It has been studied extensively with plenty of treatments available. Cancers tend to have subtle characteristics that can make them resistant or sensitive to one form of treatment or another. The key to modern therapy lies in identifying which treatment works best for each patient.

Paclitaxel is a chemotherapy drug that targets the microtubules in a cell and is a first-line treatment for many cancers. Microtubules are an essential component of a cell’s skeleton and play a role in cellular division. Paclitaxel prevents microtubules from functioning properly and is a proven chemotherapy. Unfortunately, it is only effective in 20% of breast cancer patients. Identifying which patients would react favorably to paclitaxel and other such therapies is critical and could cut down on costly ineffective treatment choices.

A team from the Universite Paris-Saclay in France had tackled this problem before and identified the protein ATIP3 as a biomarker to predict if a breast cancer patient has a taxane sensitive tumor. ATIP3 is a protein involved in microtubule stabilization. When levels were low in a cancer, it was paclitaxel sensitive, although it had a more aggressive nature. In a new study, they investigated why low ATIP3 levels were a marker of paclitaxel sensitivity.

They began by examining how taxane-based chemotherapy affected a cohort of breast cancer patients. ATIP3 deficient patients had decreased metastasis after treatment, compared to others of the cohort that showed no change in metastasis post-treatment. Cell assays found that ATIP3 managed to improve paclitaxel’s anti-metastatic activity by increasing paclitaxel accumulation within the cell itself.

This study managed to identify that ATIP3 deficiency caused paclitaxel to accumulate in cells. They note that other studies have seen similar results with other microtubule destabilizers. One group even showed that the addition of a destabilizer could increase paclitaxel’s effectiveness in vitro. What makes ATIP3 deficiency unique is that it can be tested for, making it a potential biomarker for taxane sensitive breast cancers.

The study concludes, “we show here that ATIP3 deficiency in breast cancer facilitates paclitaxel accumulation on the microtubule lattice of interphase cells, and improves the anti-migratory and anti-metastatic effects of the drug.” With further validation, ATIP3 testing could give patients more options for a tailored therapy that is right for them.

Sources: Nature Scientific Reports, OncLiveTV

 

About the Author
  • Hey everyone! My name is Jasper and, considering I am pretty new here to Labroots, I figured I would introduce myself. I received my bachelor’s from the University of California at Riverside back in 2016. I started off my career a few years ago with a job at a University over in New York, before moving over into the industry. I'm happy to be writing content for Labroots, and I hope you enjoy it!
You May Also Like
JUL 06, 2020
Cancer
Staying Active Could Help Patients with Metastatic HER2+ Breast Cancer
JUL 06, 2020
Staying Active Could Help Patients with Metastatic HER2+ Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most lethal cancer affecting women worldwide. While most are caught early thanks to the many diagno ...
JUL 15, 2020
Cancer
Traditional Medicine Reveals a New Anti-Cancer Drug
JUL 15, 2020
Traditional Medicine Reveals a New Anti-Cancer Drug
The art of traditional eastern medicine dates back thousands of years. It uses many unproven remedies, and many consider ...
JUL 22, 2020
Cancer
Investigating a New Target Against Esophageal Cancer
JUL 22, 2020
Investigating a New Target Against Esophageal Cancer
Esophageal cancer remains one of the most dangerous cancers in the world. Most therapies center around chemotherapy, rad ...
AUG 04, 2020
Cancer
Commonly used pesticides, approved by EPA, linked to mammary gland tumors
AUG 04, 2020
Commonly used pesticides, approved by EPA, linked to mammary gland tumors
In an analysis of how regulators review pesticides for their potential to cause cancer, researchers at Silent Spring Ins ...
SEP 14, 2020
Cancer
We are too uneducated on the risks of colon cancer
SEP 14, 2020
We are too uneducated on the risks of colon cancer
A study conducted by researchers from Florida Atlantic University's Schmidt College of Medicine suggests that too ma ...
SEP 15, 2020
Cancer
Soy helps post-op treatment of bone cancer
SEP 15, 2020
Soy helps post-op treatment of bone cancer
New research published in the journal Acta Biomaterialia highlights the post-operative benefits of soy in treatment ...
Loading Comments...