Breast Cancer Coverage From Every Angle

AACR-NCI-EORTC 2017: Potential of Antibiotic Salinomycin in Breast Cancer

By: Cordi Craig
Posted: Tuesday, November 7, 2017

To determine the mechanisms that drive anticancer effects associated with the antibiotic salinomycin, Monika Pizon, PhD, of Transfusion Center Bayreuth, Germany, and colleagues developed a method to cultivate tumorspheres from the peripheral blood of patients with breast cancer and an in vitro platform for screening anticancer stem cell drugs. The investigators found that salinomycin targets both circulating cancer stem cells as well as cancer stem cells from peripheral blood, suggesting a future potential therapeutic strategy for breast cancer. These results were presented at the 2017 American Association for Cancer Research–National Cancer Institute–European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (AACR-NCI-EORTC) International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics (Abstract A067) in Philadelphia.

A total of 20 patients with breast cancer of different stages were enrolled. They were exposed to varying concentrations of salinomycin in short-time culture for different periods.

Treatment with salinomycin demonstrated an 80% reduction in spheroid formation compared with a control group. The treatment drug decreased the viability of spheroids in a dose-dependent manner. Stronger cytotoxic effects on circulating epithelial tumor cells were observed in nonmetastatic patients compared with metastatic patients, at 85% and 34%, respectively. Better responses to salinomycin were also seen in patients who did not undergo chemotherapy than to those who had several prior lines of chemotherapy.

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