Researchers have discovered a way to potentially combat chemotherapy-resistant breast cancer, according to a study published in the journal Chemical Science.
Breast Cancer Campaign (BCC) scientists at the University of Southampton in the UK have come across a way of curbing breast cancer cells' craving for sugar.
Research has shown that cancer cells thrive on sugar from the blood. The cells process sugar as a fuel supply that encourages C-terminal binding proteins (CtBPs) to bind together. This process forms pairs of cells called "dimers," which enable the cancer cells to grow and multiply.
CtBPs can be 'blocked'The researchers developed a variety of chemicals called cyclic peptide inhibitors, which can block CtBPs from forming. When tested on breast cancer cells, the most effective chemical for this process was found to be CP61.
The researchers say they are now developing CP61 to be used as a form of breast cancer treatment.
Dr. Jeremy Blaydes of the university's faculty of medicine says that although there have been major improvements in the treatment of breast cancer, chemotherapy-resistance eventually happens in around 20% of breast cancer cases. Chemotherapy-resistance shows when cancers that had previously responded to therapy suddenly begin to grow.