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Advances in prevention and treatment research hold promise for 'pipeline'

ORLANDO New vaccinations to prevent infections that lead to cervical cancer and targeted therapeutics aimed at breast cancer were examples of research highlights presented by scientists today at the 95th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. Scientists described advances that feed into the drug development 'pipeline,' and show strong promise for controlling existing tumors or addressing the pathogen that causes tumors.

New progesterone receptor antagonists preventing carcinogen induced breast cancer in rats: Abstract No. 5605

A novel pharmaceutical that inhibits progesterone receptor activity in breast cancer cells may reduce tumor mass in patients, according to scientists at Schering AG Corporate Research, Experimental Oncology based in Berlin, Germany.

Progesterone is a steroid hormone that activates its receptors in the nucleus of cells such as those found in the breast or uterus. In breast cancer cells, progesterone induces a cascade of biological events essential for cell proliferation. Proliferation leads to tumor development.

"It seems obvious that progesterone receptor antagonists could therefore block the growth of breast tumors that functionally express progesterone receptors," said Jens Hoffman, MS, Ph.D., the studies lead investigator.

Hoffmann and his colleagues from the Schering AG Corporate Research Business Area Oncology tested the new progesterone receptor antagonist in tumor cell models and observed strong antiproliferative activity. The progesterone receptor antagonist also prophylactically prevented the development of breast tumors following a chemical challenge designed to induce the growth of the breast tumors in rodent models.

"Our results revealed that the biological response to a progesterone antagonist does not seem to be only the result of competition of progesterone but rather may be accompanied by additional mechanisms," Hoffmann said. "The progestero
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Contact: Aimee Frank
amf@spectrumscience.com
202-955-6222
American Association for Cancer Research
29-Mar-2004


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