Introduction: What they say:
A study from the Division of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Department of Internal Medicine, The Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA shows that “Snail1-dependent p53 repression regulates expansion and activity of tumour-initiating cells in breast cancer” This study was published in the 17 October 2016 issue of the journal “Nature Cell Biology” [the number 1 journal in Cell Biology with an I.F of 18.699] by Prof. Stephen J. Weiss, Ting Ne, and others.
What we say:
On the foundation of this interesting finding, Dr L Boominathan PhD, Director-cum-chief Scientist of GBMD, reports that: Natural product therapy for Breast Cancer: Shikonin, one of the major components of zicao (purple gromwell, the dried root of Lithospermum erythrorhizon), increases the level of tumor suppressor p53, decreases the expression of metastasis promoter Snail1, inhibits the proliferation of tumor-initiating cells, suppresses the progression of metastatic breast cancer, and supports tumor relapse-free survival in breast cancer patients
From Significance of the study to public health relevance:
Given that: (1) cancer causes the highest economic loss compared to all the known causes of death worldwide; (2) in 2008, breast cancer has caused more than 400000 deaths; (3) in 2011, 17 lakhs new cases of breast cancer diagnosed; (4) breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer in women; and (5) in 2008, breast cancer has caused economic loss of 88 billion US dollars worldwide, there is an urgent need to find: (i) a cheaper alternative to the existing expensive drugs; (ii) a side-effect-free natural product-based drug; and (iii) a way to effectively treat and stall metastatic progression and relapse of breast cancer.
What we infer from what they say:
Breast cancer is the most common women cancer. Interestingly, compared to other women cancers, breast cancer not only metastasizes frequently but also relapses. However, the mechanistic basis of which remains largely unclear.
Stephen’s research team has recently shown that increased expression of the EMT (Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition) regulator Snail1 promotes: (1) degradation of tumor suppressor p53 in breast cancer cells; and (2) expansion and activity of tumor-initiating cells that aid in relapse of breast cancer, suggesting that inhibition of metastatic promoter Snail1 expression in breast cancer cells will not only inhibit the progression of metastatic breast cancer but also prevent relapse.
From research findings to therapeutic opportunity :
This study suggests a Natural product-based therapy for metastatic breast cancer. Shikonin, by decreasing the expression of its target gene, it may increase the expression of tumor suppressor p53. Thereby, it may inhibit metastasis and relapse of breast cancers (Figures 1-2).
Thus, pharmacological formulations encompassing “Shikonin or its analogues either alone or in combination with other compounds“ may be used to treat metastatic breast cancer.
Details of the Research findings:
Idea Proposed/Formulated (with experimental evidence) by: Dr L Boominathan Ph.D.
Undisclosed mechanistic information: How Shikonin increases the expression of tumor suppressor p53 and inhibits the proliferation of tumor-initiating cells in metastatic breast cancers
Terms & Conditions apply http://genomediscovery.org/registration/terms-and-conditions/
Citation: Boominathan, L., Natural product therapy for Breast Cancer: Shikonin, one of the major components of zicao (purple gromwell, the dried root of Lithospermum erythrorhizon), increases the level of tumor suppressor p53, decreases the expression of metastasis promoter Snail1, inhibits the proliferation of tumor-initiating cells, suppresses the progression of metastatic breast cancer, and supports tumor relapse-free survival in breast cancer patients, 8/March/2017, 7.31 am, Genome-2-Bio-Medicine Discovery center (GBMD), http://genomediscovery.org