Researchers Propose New Therapy for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer


Because triple-negative breast cancer does not express receptors involved in most breast cancers, the investigative therapy could offer a much-needed option.

A new combined treatment with a senescence inducer and a senolytic nanoparticle may offer hope for patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), a particularly challenging cancer to treat because it does not respond to most common treatments.

According to the investigators, TNBC does not express any of the receptors involved in most breast cancers, such as estrogen and progesterone. Because most common treatments involve these receptors, TNBC presents a major challenge. With the new combination, however, researchers were able to selectively remove senescent cells, delay tumor growth, and reduce metastasis in a model of aggressive breast cancer.

Senescence, or the aging of cells, can occur in both physiological and pathological situations. When a cell enters into senescence, it stops dividing and releases substances that cause inflammation. Although senescence inducers have been a successful strategy to treat patients with breast cancer, the study authors noted that the accumulation of senescent cells can favor relapse of the tour.

When senescent cells accumulate uncontrollably, the excess of inflammatory factors can eventually damage healthy cells, causing aging and the appearance of disorders such as diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases. The authors noted that this excess also fosters the development of tumors and can cause metastasis.

Under the new treatment approach, senescent cells are removed using a senolytic nanoparticle, opening a new opportunity to improve results in patients with breast cancer.


Galiana I, Lozano-Torres B, Sancho M, et al. Preclinical antitumor efficacy of senescence-inducing chemotherapy combined with a nanosenolytic. Journal of Controlled Release; July 10, 2020. Accessed August 19, 2020.

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