Apr 11, 2023

Dietary supplement helps combat resistance in breast cancer, finds study

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Many cancer therapies do not produce the hoped-for results. A common reason for this is that the tumors develop resistance to the medications. This is the case, for example, with alpelisib, a drug that has been approved for use in Switzerland for the past few years as a treatment for advanced breast cancer.

A research group at the Department of Biomedicine of the University of Basel has now discovered that the loss of the neurofibromin 1 (NF1) gene leads to a reduced response to alpelisib. The researchers also found that the dietary supplement N-acetylcysteine restores the sensitivity of cancer cells to this treatment. The findings have been published in the journal Cell Reports Medicine on April 11.

At the moment, patients with advanced and metastatic breast cancer lack effective treatment options. The PI3K signaling pathway is often overactive in breast cancer due to mutations promoting tumor development. The approval of the PI3K inhibitor Alpelisib was therefore keenly anticipated.

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