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U-M researchers link pathway to breast cancer stem cells
Date:6/1/2009

called perifosine, which inhibits the Akt pathway. Tumors in mice were treated with perifosine or docetaxel, a standard chemotherapy drug. The docetaxel alone showed no effect on the number of cancer stem cells in the tumor. But adding perifosine reduced the cancer stem cell population by up to 90 percent.

What's more, the cells treated with perifosine either with or without docetaxel were less likely to grow a secondary tumor, compared to the cells treated with just docetaxel.

"This is most exciting since perifosine and other drugs that target this pathway are currently in clinical development. If cancer stem cells do contribute to tumor relapse, then adding drugs that target these cells may help to make our current therapies more effective," says study senior author Max S. Wicha, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Oncology and director of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.


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Contact: Nicole Fawcett
nfawcett@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert  

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