Inhibition of Genes Contributing to Survival of estrogen receptor-positive breast Cancer Cells

Categories: “Cancer Therapeutics” “Research Tools

Reference #: 2012-004

OTC Contact: Ruchika Nijhara, Ph.D., MBA, CLP (Directory Information | Send a Message)


Georgetown investigators identified a 27 genes encoding proteins that can be therapeutically targeted to treat metastatic estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancers that have developed estrogen independence and are therefore resistant to anti-estrogen therapies. The inventors have discovered that changes in the action of proteins interacting with core components of the estrogen response are responsible for both survival and drug resistance, and that inhibition of these proteins may modulate response to endocrine therapies.


  • Reduces expression levels of genes involved in estrogen resistance to increase sensitivity to endocrine

    therapy and ultimately inhibit growth and proliferation of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer cells.


  • Overcomes estrogen resistance by targeting essential network of genes that promote the survival of drug

    resistant cells

Stage of Development

Investigators are currently studying the mechanisms this 27-gene survival network. These studies include the examination of transcriptional profiles in the relevant cell lines, as well as microRNA and protein expression by the 27 targeted genes. Investigators are also systematically examining the downstream phosphorylation status following siRNA knockdown of selected genes to identify mechanisms by which these genes cause apoptosis or inhibit cell proliferation.

Patent Status

Patent application pending