Triple-negative breast cancer tumors are especially dependent on cystine, one of the 20 amino acids that are the building blocks of proteins that all cells need, and could be effectively treated with a drug already approved by the FDA, according to a study published online October 3, 2013 in the journal Cancer Cell.

Lead researcher Luika Timmerman, PhD, an investigator in the University of California San Francisco,  found that she could significantly slow growth of TNBC tumors using an anti-inflammatory drug called sulfasalazine to block a specific cystine transporter. While sulfasalazine itself would not be appropriate for treating cancer, Timmerman said, it could serve as a “lead compound” that could be used to develop drugs that specifically target TNBC cells.

“This study of human tumors in mice and of breast cancer cell lines demonstrates the potential of targeting not only this cystine transporter, but also other metabolic abnormalities in cancer,” she said.

[Based on a news release from the University of California at San Francisco.]
• Read more about TNBC in my book, Surviving Triple-Negative Breast Cancer.

• Please consider a donation to Positives About Negative to keep this site going.  This work is entirely supported by readers.  Just click on the Donate button in the right of the page.  Thank you!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: