Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Communities
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Osteoporosis Drug May Treat Breast and Liver Cancers

Published: Thursday, February 20, 2014
Last Updated: Thursday, February 20, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Study from OSU has shown a drug used to prevent and treat osteoporosis in post-menopausal women may also be able to treat some breast and liver cancers.

Although clinical trials on patients are still needed, in lab tests researchers found that the drug raloxifene, which is marketed under the brand name Evista by Eli Lilly and Co., killed human breast cancer cells that are "triple-negative” as well as liver cancer cells.

Triple-negative breast cancers represent about 15-20 percent of all breast cancers in the United States and are more common in younger and African-American women, according to a factsheet from the Susan G. Komen organization. Chemotherapy, radiation and surgery are the preferred treatments because triple-negative breast cancers don't respond to typical medications like tamoxifen or trastuzumab. That's because their cells lack receptors for estrogen, progesterone and a protein known as human epidermal growth factor receptor 2.

Receptors, which are proteins in or on cells, are like a lock. Hormones act like keys to these receptors to unlock different cellular functions. For example, estrogen causes uncontrolled proliferation of breast cancer cells by binding to a receptor. It's known that raloxifene blocks estrogen from binding to its receptor and thus keeps breast cancer cells from multiplying.

But what OSU researchers discovered is that raloxifene also binds with a protein called the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and kills cancer cells that do not have receptors for estrogen, said Ed O’Donnell, a postdoctoral scholar at OSU who conducted the research.

O’Donnell also analyzed survival data on women who had breast cancers that didn't require hormones to fuel the proliferation of the tumor cells. He found an increased survival rate in the women whose breast cancers had higher levels of the AhR protein.

"Our findings are exciting for two reasons," said OSU cancer researcher Siva Kolluri, who led the research, which was published in the journal Cell Death and Disease. "No. 1, our research revealed that we can target a specific protein, the AhR, to potentially develop new drugs for liver cancer and a subset of stubborn breast cancers. That's a major goal of our lab. No. 2, we discovered that raloxifene, a known drug, could potentially be repurposed to treat two distinct types of cancers."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved raloxifene for use in bone loss prevention in post-menopausal women in 1997. In 1999, it was approved for treating postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. In 2007, the agency approved the use of raloxifene for reducing the risk of invasive breast cancer in post-menopausal women with osteoporosis and in post-menopausal women at high risk for invasive breast cancer, which spreads outside the lobules or milk ducts into surrounding breast tissue.

Raloxifene again hit the news in January when the federal government announced that most health insurance plans will be required to offer the prescription medicine at no cost to women who have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

The OSU research article is called "The Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Mediates Raloxifene-induced Apoptosis in Estrogen Receptor Negative Hepatoma and Breast Cancer Cells." It is online at OSU researcher William Bisson was a co-author on the paper.

The research was funded by the American Cancer Society, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the U.S. Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

New Hope for Personalized Treatment of Eczema
Pharmaceutical researchers at Oregon State University have developed a new approach to treat eczema and other inflammatory skin disorders that would use individual tests and advanced science to create personalized treatments based on each person's lipid deficiencies.
Monday, October 05, 2015
Researchers Advance Photodynamic Therapy for Treatment of Ovarian Cancer
Researchers at Oregon State University have made a significant advance in the use of photodynamic therapy to combat ovarian cancer in laboratory animals, using a combination of techniques that achieved complete cancer cell elimination with no regrowth of tumors.
Monday, August 17, 2015
‘Fishing Expedition’ Nets Nearly Tenfold Increase in Number of Sequenced Virus Genomes
Newly developed computational tool finds 12,500 genomes of viruses that infect microbes.
Monday, August 17, 2015
Stricter Reporting, More Null Trials
A study has found that the adoption of new transparent reporting standards may have contributed to a significant reduction in the percentage of studies reporting positive research findings among large-budget clinical trials funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
Friday, August 07, 2015
Red Wine Antioxidant May Provide New Cancer Therapy Options
Resveratrol and quercetin, two polyphenols that have been widely studied for their health properties, may soon become the basis of an important new advance in cancer treatment,
Monday, July 20, 2015
Algal Blooms Pose Health Risks Downstream
A new study has found that toxic algal blooms in reservoirs on the Klamath River can create unsafe water conditions far downstream on lower parts of the river in northern California.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
How Climate Influenced Fresh Water during Last Ice Age
A new study shows how huge influxes of fresh water from icebergs during the last ice age had an unexpected effect; they increased the production of methane in the tropical wetlands.
Monday, June 01, 2015
“Glowing” New Nanotechnology Guides Cancer Surgery
Findings show utility of nanotechnology to both identify and kill cancer cells.
Monday, January 19, 2015
New Advance in Cryopreservation Could Change Management of World Blood Supplies
Engineers have identified a method to rapidly prepare frozen red blood cells for transfusions.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Using the Sun to Create Solar Energy Materials
Researchers have discovered a way to tap the sun not only as a source of power, but also to directly produce the solar energy materials that make this possible.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Omega-3 Fatty Acids have Wider Range of Biological Impacts
Study explored the challenges the liver faces from the “Western diet” that increasingly is linked to liver inflammation, fibrosis, cirrhosis and sometimes liver failure.
Wednesday, February 05, 2014
New Compounds Discovered That are Hundreds of Times More Mutagenic
OSU researchers have discovered novel compounds found in vehicle exhaust or grilling meat.
Wednesday, January 08, 2014
Drug Interactions Causing a Significant Impact on Statin Use
Drugs taken alongside statins can contribute to side effects.
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Genetics Offers New Biotechnology Tools
The Oregon State University researchers said they have demonstrated for the first time that "cisgenics" -- a type of genetic engineering that is conceptually similar to traditional plant breeding -- might herald a new future for biotechnology.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Success with 'cisgenics' in forestry offers new tools for biotechnology
Growth rate and other characteristics of trees can be changed through "cisgenics" - a type of genetic engineering that is conceptually similar to traditional plant breeding
Monday, June 14, 2010
Scientific News
High Throughput Mass Spectrometry-Based Screening Assay Trends
Dr John Comley provides an insight into HT MS-based screening with a focus on future user requirements and preferences.
How a Genetic Locus Protects Adult Blood-Forming Stem Cells
Mammalian imprinted Gtl2 protects adult hematopoietic stem cells by restricting metabolic activity in the cells' mitochondria.
Genetic Basis of Fatal Flu Side Effect Discovered
A group of people with fatal H1N1 flu died after their viral infections triggered a deadly hyperinflammatory disorder in susceptible individuals with gene mutations linked to the overactive immune response, according to a recent study.
New Tech Vastly Improves CRISPR/Cas9 Accuracy
A new CRISPR/Cas9 technology developed by scientists at UMass Medical School is precise enough to surgically edit DNA at nearly any genomic location, while avoiding potentially harmful off-target changes typically seen in standard CRISPR gene editing techniques.
The MaxSignal Colistin ELISA Test Kit from Bioo Scientific
Kit can help prevent the antibiotic apocalypse by keeping last resort drugs out of the food supply.
"Good" Mozzie Virus Might Hold Key to Fighting Human Disease
Australian scientists have discovered a new virus carried by one of the country’s most common pest mosquitoes.
Non-Disease Proteins Kill Brain Cells
Scientists at the forefront of cutting-edge research into neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s have shown that the mere presence of protein aggregates may be as important as their form and identity in inducing cell death in brain tissue.
Closing the Loop on an HIV Escape Mechanism
Research team finds that protein motions regulate virus infectivity.
New Class of RNA Tumor Suppressors Identified
Two short, “housekeeping” RNA molecules block cancer growth by binding to an important cancer-associated protein called KRAS. More than a quarter of all human cancers are missing these RNAs.
Potential Treatment for Life-Threatening Viral Infections Revealed
The findings point to new therapies for Dengue, West Nile and Ebola.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos