Ohio researchers get $1.4M for breast cancer treatment study

The U.S. Department of Defense will provide University of Toledo (Ohio) researchers $1.4 million for a pre-clinical study on a potential new chemotherapy to treat triple-negative breast cancer, local CBS affiliate WTOL reported Jan. 25. 

The treatment has the potential to overcome the multidrug resistance often associated with triple-negative breast cancer, which significantly limits treatment options for patients. The compound researchers are now studying causes cancer cells to swell and burst, WTOL reports. This approach, which releases markers that help the body's immune system target and kill neighboring cancer cells, differs from most other chemotherapy drugs, which instead program cells to shrink and break down. 

Amit Tiwari, PhD, principal study investigator and associate professor at the university's pharmacy school, told the news station, "Our research has shown this drug is killing the cancer cells in multiple different ways. Even the most resistant cancer cells are responding." 

So far, the drug has shown promising results in animal models and human cancer cells in the lab, researchers told WTOL. The $1.4 million will be awarded over the course of three years and will help researchers better understand the protein targets that induce cancer cell death — the next step before advancing to clinical trials.  

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