Targeted Treatments for Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Thanks to generous funding from Tour de Cure, riders and supporters in 2019, an international research project is hoping to uncover the ‘magic bullet’ for treating Triple Negative Breast Cancer – one of the most aggressive and fatal forms of breast cancer.

Flinders University Professor Arduino Mangoni is nearing completion of the first stage of the study, investigating a newly developed drug compound targeting the enzyme DDAH1 in Triple Negative Breast Cancer.

With this cancer type affecting around 15-20 per cent of women with breast cancer, and no targeted therapies currently available, Prof Mangoni said a breakthrough was desperately needed in this field.

“This a pretty common form of cancer, and sadly it seems to be more aggressive with significantly worse survival compared with other breast cancer types,”

“And while there have been major advances in improving treatment and mortality rates, and reducing the risk of relapse in other types of breast cancer, unfortunately in the case of Triple Negative Breast Cancer there hasn’t been that same progression and it lags behind in available therapies.

“As yet, there’s no magic bullet treatment.”

But in collaboration with researchers in Milan, Italy and Aberdeen, Scotland, Professor Mangoni has shown his drug is effective in a laboratory setting to block – vasculogenic mimicry - a mechanism which is used by Triple Negative Breast Cancer to spread cells.

Current trials are now exploring how the drug is distributed and absorbed throughout the body, and if results are promising Professor Mangoni hopes to investigate its impact on reducing cancer size and the number of metastases before hopefully progressing to human trials in future.

“There’s now so much focus on making targeted treatments available to give people the best chance of survival, and our work seeks to help those women who are sadly at risk of the worst outcome,” Professor Mangoni says.

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