Most varieties of breast cancer can invade the whole body, faster than you think. A recent study was conducted on mice, regarding this. The drug candidate called ErSO has the ability to kill the primary breast cancer cells. Moreover, it can also kill the metastatic cells in the bone, liver, and brain.
The cancer cells do not become resistant to the drug, as is the case with other variants of the drug. The new drug supposedly over-activates the cells to protect against the virus. Every year, more than 2 lac women and 2 thousand men are diagnosed with breast cancer, in the U.S. alone.
New Drug Shrinks Metastatic Breast Cancers Fast In Mice
Most cases are due to estrogen-receptor positivity. There is a receptor cell the cancer cell, that binds to the sex hormone. This type of breast cancer is incurable if it spreads. The current drug, Tamoxifen is widely used. However, it has its own limitations. The cancer cells do not respond after some time. As they become resistant. Scientists at Illinois institute are working on a new type of drug, that will help to alleviate this situation.
How Does ErSO Work?
This new drug named ErSO, works by over-activating the stress-response mechanism. It normally protects the cancer cells from any harm. When the mechanism is resurrected, it kills the cancer cells. A few cells do not survive. And, a few more that do form tumors that respond to treatment with the same drug in the months to come. It is a commendable drug, as it has maximum implications on metastases. In the body, the cancer cells multiply vigorously after leaving the host tissues in the breast. This leads to rapid degeneration of the body.
The body’s failure as a whole is the main reason behind the death of the patient. In previous research, another drug was brought for the treatment. However, it seemed to have side effects on the mice. It has been seen, that ErSO kills the cancer cells quicker than the other drugs. Moreover, it is well-tolerated in mice, rats, as well as dogs. The reports came up in Science Translational Medicine.
Overactive Stress Response – The Key
Breast cancer cells that have estrogen, often prepare to respond to stress. The pathway that they form is called anticipatory unfolded protein response. This response pathway can help the breast cells develop resistance against the older drugs. It works by inhibiting the receptors. Thus, the cells also develop a response to anti-cancer drugs. The new drug, however, binds to a different part of the receptor. It thus, over activates the stress response pathway, leading to fatality for the cells.
In mice, the experiments have shown extremely positive results. Breast cancer cells that were derived from humans, responded quite well to the treatment. And, they also shrank to very low levels. As per Prof. Shapiro, these cells shrunk by 99 percent in three days. ErSO is seemingly acting quite fast to help alleviate the symptoms of Cancer.
Researchers have found that these cells work by stepping up the response mechanism. A flood of calcium ions is also released, which affects the cells in a positive manner. The same ions can keep the pathway activated. However, it may not be effective in killing the cells.
There is a loss of energy after the calcium ions are released. It leads to de-energization and subsequent loss of power to multiply. Today, investigations have started over the effectiveness of ErSO on the other types of cancers. If a positive response is found, it can lead to path-breaking discoveries in the future. Bayer has exclusive rights to manufacture the drug.