Max S WichaWomen may find great relevance to this vital piece of news as it is regarding breast cancer. Study authors from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center claim to have exposed a significant association between inflammation and breast cancer stem cells that seem to propose a novel technique to aim at cells that are resistant to present treatments.

The experts apparently recognized a receptor CXCR1, on the cancer stem cells which appear to activate development of stem cells in reply to inflammation and tissue damage. A drug initially created to avert organ transplant rejection apparently obstructs this receptor, thereby destroying breast cancer stem cells and averting their metastasis in mice.

Cancer stem cells are thought to be impervious to existing chemotherapies and radiation treatment. As per the experts, this may be the cause of recurring cancer following treatment.

Senior study author Max S. Wicha, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Oncology and director of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, commented, “Developing treatments to effectively target the cancer stem cell population is essential for improving outcomes. This work suggests a new strategy to target cancer stem cells that can be readily translated into the clinic.”

CXCR1 is claimed to be a receptor for Interleukin-8, or IL-8, a protein generated during chronic inflammation and tissue injury. When chemotherapy hits the tumors, the dying cells supposedly manufacture IL-8, which is said to fuel cancer stem cells to duplicate. Moreover, inclusion of the drug repertaxin to chemotherapy particularly aims and destroys breast cancer stem cells by obstructing CXCR1.

Mice treated with repertaxin or the amalgamation of repertaxin and chemotherapy seemed to have noticeably lesser cancer stem cells as compared to those treated with chemotherapy alone. Furthermore, repertaxin-treated mice apparently developed considerably lesser metastases as opposed to mice treated with chemotherapy alone.

Wicha remarked, “These studies suggest that important links between inflammation, tissue damage and breast cancer may be mediated by cancer stem cells. Furthermore, anti-inflammatory drugs such as repertaxin may provide a means of blocking these interactions, thereby targeting breast cancer stem cells.”

Repertaxin has supposedly been examined in initial phase clinical trials to avert rejection post organ transplantation. In these studies, side effects appear to be negligible. Apparently, there are no reports of utilizing repertaxin for cancer treatment.

The findings of the study appear online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation and will be published in the journal’s February print issue.