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Disease models

Mouse model of phosphoinositide 3-kinase catalytic subunit a-polypeptide (PIK3CA; p110a)-mutant, HER2 (EGFR2; ErbB2; neu)+ breast cancer

A mouse model of HER2+ breast cancer with a PIK3CA mutation could be useful for developing combination therapies to treat the disease. Mice with mammary epithelium-specific overexpression of human HER2 and a mutant form of PIK3CA had tumors that grew more aggressively and metastasized more readily than tumors with mammary epithelium-specific overexpression of HER2 alone. In the mice, the HER2+, PIK3CA-mutant tumors were resistant to the combination of anti-HER2 antibodies Herceptin trastuzumab and Perjeta pertuzumab. Next steps include using these mice to test inhibitors of mutant PIK3CA in combination with HER2 antagonists.
Roche's Genentech Inc. unit markets Herceptin to treat metastatic breast and gastric cancers and Perjeta to treat metastatic breast cancer.

SciBX 6(38); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.1077
Published online Oct. 3, 2013

Patent and licensing status undisclosed

Hanker, A.B. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online Aug. 12, 2013;
Contact: Carlos L. Arteaga, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.

Contact: Jean J. Zhao, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.