Patients with metastatic breast cancer—when the tumor has spread to other organs in the body—face a terminal prognosis and toxic treatments. There is an urgent need for new ways to treat drug metastatic and resistant stages of the disease. Sarat Chandarlapaty, MD, PhD (Clinical Investigator ’12–’17), and colleagues, have developed a novel class of drugs that may help these patients by potentially stopping or even destroying breast cancer tumors.

The researchers designed a drug that attaches to the estrogen receptors in cancer cells and then hijacks the cell’s protein-disposal machinery to degrade the receptor. The new compounds also block the hormone estrogen from binding to its receptor. As a result, breast cancer cells in the laboratory stopped growing and multiplying. The researchers plan to next test these compounds in animal models of cancer, with the hope of eventually moving them to clinical trials in humans.

The research was published in the American Chemical Society ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters.

Read more about the new drug.

This post was originally published by Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. It is republished with permission.