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30th January 2020

New Drug Discoveries For Breast Cancer

Theresa Hickey lab

Major leap forward identifying new drugs to treat breast cancer

A research team in Adelaide has made a major leap forward in identifying new drugs to treat breast cancer, bringing hope to the many women suffering from this awful disease.

Thanks to the support from our donor community, researchers at the Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories, University of Adelaide, have tested a series of existing drugs (already approved for use in people but not being used to treat breast cancer) PLUS potential new drugs (not yet tested in people) to see which ones show promise in changing an offending hormone receptor from cancer-promoting to cancer-inhibiting.

The team led by Professor Wayne Tilley and Associate Professor Theresa Hickey has now identified an exciting list of known and new drugs to take forward!

“This rapid translation of our work into the clinical arena illustrates the power of finding a new purpose for drugs developed for one disease that may be useful for the treatment of another disease,” Prof Tilley said.

“For the known drugs, we are now working to present the final evidence necessary to design and establish clinical trials to test their efficacy in patients.

“For the potential new drugs, we will now embark on a drug development phase and preclinical testing to ensure they have optimal drug properties and are non-toxic before being tested in people.”

The work is helping to save even more lives, with it also being applied to prostate cancer!

“We have already advanced one known drug candidate for breast cancer. The work related to breast cancer is being considered for publication in a highly esteemed scientific journal and we have commenced a clinical trial. The work related to prostate cancer is being prepared for publication and discussions are underway for clinical trial design,” Prof Tilley said.

“In addition to these clinical outcomes, the project has produced a wealth of new information and data that will be shared with researchers worldwide via publication and deposit of data into public repositories.

“By the end of this project, we aim to have at least three scientific publications describing our work and its results, to have designed at least one clinical trial involving a repurposed drug for breast or prostate cancer and have at least one new drug enter the drug development pipeline.”