AACR News: Autophagy-addicted breast cancers killed by anti-malaria drug, chloroquine
The process of autophagy cleans cells – they wrap up the bad stuff and then dispose of it. And so it stands to reason that inhibiting autophagy would make cancer cells less able to cleanse themselves of chemotherapy and so more susceptible to the drugs. That’s what the traditional anti-malaria drug, chloroquine, does – it inhibits autophagy. Existing clinical trials are testing chloroquine/chemotherapy combinations against breast cancer.
Research presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2013 shows that some breast cancer subtypes depend on autophagy more than others – and that inhibiting autophagy in breast cancers that depend on it may be enough alone to kill the disease.
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