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Osteoporosis medicine prevents growth of breast cancer cell

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A new research has demonstrated that drug bazedoxifene packs can cut the growth of breast cancer cells, even in resistant tumors.

The findings show that medicines prescribed for osteoporosis cut growth both in estrogen-dependent breast cancer cells and in cells that had developed resistance to current targeted therapies, according to a Duke Cancer Institute study.

“We found bazedoxifene binds to the estrogen receptor and interferes with its activity, but the surprising thing we then found was that it also degrades the receptor; it gets rid of it,” said senior author Donald McDonnell, PhD, chair of Duke’s Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology.

Bazedoxifene belongs to a group of medicines known as specific estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). The pills have the ability to act like estrogen in some tissues, while significantly blocking estrogen’s role in other parts.

“Because the drug is removing the estrogen receptor as a target by degradation, it is less likely the cancer cell can develop a resistance mechanism because you are removing the target,” said lead author Suzanne Wardell, PhD, a research scientist working in McDonnell’s lab.

In treatment for osteoporosis, bazedoxifene imitates the action of estrogen in bone tissue and protect it from destruction.


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