A Potential New Path to Treating Triple-negative Breast Cancer


Triple-negative breast cancers are among the most aggressive, lethal and hardest to treat forms of the cancer. Occurring more often in younger women, African-American women, Hispanic/Latina women and women who have BRCA1 mutations, this disease represents almost one fifth of all breast cancers.

Searching for new and more effective treatments, physicians at the University of Chicago Medicine announced the results of a pre-clinical study that could soon lead to phase I clinical trials to treat women with relapsed, metastatic triple-negative breast cancer at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium on Dec 12.

The researchers looked at the use of mifepristone, a drug that blocks glucocorticoid receptors, in combination with standard chemotherapy agents. They found that five out of eight patients with relapsed, metastatic triple-negative breast cancer experience a partial or complete relapse of the disease. The results were strong enough for a Phase I clinical trial application to be filed with the FDA.

Rita Nanda, MD

Rita Nanda, MD

The team, which includes Rita Nanda, MD, Associate Director of Breast Medical Oncology, Suzanne Conzen, MD, Professor of Hematology/Oncology, and Gini Fleming, MD, Director of the Medical Oncology Breast Program, has licensed their patents on the therapy to Corcept Therapeutics through UChicagoTech, the University of Chicago’s Center for Technology Development & Ventures.

“We are encouraged by the results of our study, which found that five of the eight patients with relapsed metastatic triple-negative breast cancer who participated in the trial exhibited a partial or complete clinical response to treatment with mifepristone plus nab-paclitaxel. The combination of mifepristone and chemotherapy was well-tolerated,” Nanda said. “We are excited to continue our clinical investigation into this promising therapeutic approach.”

About Kevin Jiang (147 Articles)
Kevin Jiang is a Science Writer and Media Relations Specialist at the University of Chicago Medicine. He focuses on neuroscience and neurosurgery, orthopedics, psychology, genetics, biology, evolution, biomedical and basic science research.
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