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Breast Cancer Update: Clinical Trials For Possible Treatment For Triple Negative Breast Cancer Underway

Update Date: Jan 09, 2017 10:36 PM EST

Clinical trials for a possible treatment for triple negative breast cancer is underway. This latest update on a possible treatment for breast cancer involves the combination of a drug used in improving drug flow in damaged hearts with standard chemotherapy.

The clinical trials involving the use of the drug Tilarginine Acetate (L-NMMA) with standard chemotherapy as a possible treatment for advanced or metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). The trials involve the participation of at least 30 patients for 20 weeks.

Phase I of the clinical trials is understanding the maximum tolerated dose and toxicities associated with the combination of L-NMMA and standard chemotherapy. The researchers, under Dr. Angel Rodriquez of the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Clinic at the Houston Methodist Cancer Center, will also look out for possible but acceptable side effects of the treatment. The combination used for treatment has associated side effects like increase in blood pressure, stroke, and an allergic reaction.

Previous studies suggest that the drug L-NMMA inhibits the body from producing nitric oxide synthase. By stopping the body from producing nitric oxide, the possibility of the growth of new tumor in blood vessels that feeds on cancer stem cells is reduced. This further prevents the growth and spread of cancer cells.

Tilarginine Acetate was originally used in treatment for cardiogenic shock. Cardiogenic shock is when the blood flow to the heart is severely restricted and could not pump enough oxygenated blood to the body. However, the FDA did not approve the use of L-NMMA to treat cardiogenic shock as it failed to meet its objectives and endpoints for its clinical trial.

But the cancer researchers from Houston Methodist Cancer Center are looking into FDA-approved drugs or even failed drugs in combination with standard chemotherapy to develop as a possible treatment. This way the creation of new drugs is done efficiently and faster compared to traditional drug discovery and creation.

The researchers are optimistic about the result of Phase I of the clinical trials. Previously, they have proven the efficiency of the combination of Tilarginine Acetate and standard chemotherapy in mice where the researchers targeted treatment resistance and metastases.

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