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Breast cancer

Neuromedin U (NMU); HER2 (EGFR2; ErbB2; neu)

Cell culture and mouse studies suggest inhibiting NMU could help treat HER2 inhibitor-resistant breast cancer. In human breast cancer cells, elevated NMU levels were associated with poor clinical outcomes and resistance to HER2 inhibitors. In HER2+ human breast cancer cell lines treated with a HER2 inhibitor, NMU-targeting siRNA decreased proliferation and invasiveness compared with scrambled siRNA. In mice injected with a human breast cancer cell line resistant to Tykerb lapatinib, pretreatment of cells with NMU-targeting shRNA decreased tumor growth and metastases and increased survival compared with no pretreatment. Future studies could include identifying and testing pharmacological NMU inhibitors in HER2 inhibitor-resistant cancers.
GlaxoSmithKline plc and Eddingpharm Inc. market Tykerb lapatinib, an inhibitor of epidermal growth factor receptor 1 (EGFR1; HER1; ErbB1) and HER2, to treat breast cancer. The drug is in Phase III testing to treat head and neck cancer and gastric cancer and Phase II trials to treat brain and liver cancers.
Roche and its Genentech Inc. and Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. units market Herceptin trastuzumab, a humanized mAb against HER2, to treat breast and gastric cancers.
Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH markets Gilotrif afatinib, a dual inhibitor of HER1 and HER2, to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The drug is in Phase III testing to treat breast cancer and head and neck cancer and Phase I trials to treat solid tumors.

SciBX 7(27); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.789
Published online July 17, 2014

Patent and licensing status unavailable

Rani, S. et al. Cancer Res.;
published online May 29, 2014;
Contact: Lorraine O'Driscoll, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland