Author(s): Macedo LF, Sabnis GJ, Goloubeva OG, Brodie A
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Although the aromatase inhibitor anastrozole has been shown to be very effective in the treatment of hormone-dependent postmenopausal breast cancer, some patients with advanced disease will develop resistance to treatment. To investigate therapeutic strategies to overcome resistance to anastrozole treatment, we have used an intratumoral aromatase model that simulates postmenopausal breast cancer patients with estrogen-dependent tumors. Growth of the tumors in the mice was inhibited by both anastrozole and fulvestrant compared with the control tumors. Nevertheless, tumors had doubled in size at 5 weeks of treatment. We therefore investigated whether switching the original treatments to anastrozole or fulvestrant alone or the combination of anastrozole plus fulvestrant would reduce tumor growth. The results showed that the best strategy to reverse the insensitivity to anastrozole or fulvestrant is to combine the two agents. Additionally, the tumors treated with anastrozole plus fulvestrant from the beginning had only just doubled their size after 14 weeks of treatment, whereas the anastrozole and fulvestrant treatments alone resulted in 9- and 12-fold increases in tumor size, respectively, in the same time period. Anastrozole plus fulvestrant from the beginning or in sequence was associated with down-regulation of signaling proteins involved in the development of hormonal resistance such as insulin-like growth factor type I receptor beta, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), p-MAPK, AKT, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), p-mTOR, and estrogen receptor alpha compared with tumors treated with anastrozole or fulvestrant alone. These results suggest that blocking the estrogen receptor and aromatase may delay or reverse the development of resistance to aromatase inhibitors in advanced breast cancer patients.
This article was published in Cancer Res
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy