CLF collaborative study highlights flaws in breast cancer drug

HER2-HER3 pairs

A consortium of scientists from across the UK, including four at the Central Laser Facility (CLF), have used the OCTOPUS imaging facility at the CLF to prove that a well-established breast cancer drug paradoxically boosts the growth of tumour cells in vitro.

A new study published in eLife, has shown that the breast cancer drug lapatinib can sometimes boost the growth of breast cancer cells in the laboratory.

Using microscopes at the CLF, the team was able to test clinically-observed, acquired resistance of an anti-cancer drug to targeted HER2 therapy. The scientists hope that their results will go on to improve targeted therapy against HER2, a receptor protein that is overexpressed in more than 20% of breast cancer cases.

The image shows inactive (left) and active (right) HER2-HER3 pairs. Image credit: Phospho Biomedical Animation.

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HER2-HER3 pairs