There is news from breast cancer therapy: researchers from the USA have been able to determine positive effects of a new drug in animal experiments.
Illinois – Although some risk factors of cancer are now known – such as an unhealthy lifestyle or alcohol – nevertheless fall ill annually on average 65.000 Germans to breast cancer. Last year, according to the Center for Cancer Registry Data, there were over 67.000 women and 647 men. Accordingly, research has been trying hard for years to find new therapeutic methods.
Breast cancer: new drug aims to shrink tumors quickly
American scientists Paul Hergenrother and David Shapiro of the University of Illinois have developed a drug that has shown impressive results in treating breast cancer in animal studies. The drug, called Erso, was used on mice, rats and dogs suffering from breast cancer. Within days, the tumors were gone and did not return even after four months, as shown in a video from the Universiry of Illinois. How is this possible?
Breast cancer therapy: How the active ingredient Erso works
A large part of tumors grow hormone-dependently. In breast cancer the hormones estrogen. Progesterone affect the growth of cancer cells. If tumor cells grow in a hormone-dependent manner, it also means that their growth can be slowed or stopped by hormone deprivation. This effect is used in anti-hormone therapy.
The active ingredient Erso is a molecule that acts on the estrogen receptors of the cancer cell. Erso does not inhibit or stop hormone production. On the contrary: Erso irritates the cancer cell. As a result, it normally grows. However, the researchers gave the experimental animals such a high dose of Erso that the opposite happened: the cancer cell was overstimulated and died off.
Breast cancer therapy: also effective against metastases and preserves fertility in animal studies
But these were not the only positive effects observed in the animals after the administration of Erso:
– Most metastases in the liver, lungs, bones and brain shrank or disappeared – No healthy cells were damaged compared to other cancer therapies – The drug was well tolerated by the animals – Fertility was preserved – The body's own defense system did not develop immunity
Breast cancer therapy: Bayer has
The pharmaceutical company Bayer AG licensed Erso last year. However, it is still uncertain whether and if so when it will be launched on the market. Finally, the drug is in a very early testing phase. In addition, it is still unclear whether the effect of Erso is transferable to humans.
To detect breast cancer early, breast cancer screening is essential. However, almost every second woman lets the mammography invitation lapse.*