Hypoxic metabolism in breast cancer: how to overcome resistance to anti-angiogenic therapy

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Published: 19 Dec 2013
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Prof Adrian Harris - University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Prof Adrian Harris talks to ecancertv at SABCS 2013 about his talk on hypoxia metabolism in breast cancer.

Hypoxia is recognised to induce a multigene programme mainly via HIF1a and also HIF2a transcription factors.

Bioinformatics analysis of multiple gene array data sets in breast cancer showed a core hypoxia response programme of approximately 90 genes associated with poor outcome independent of other factors. This core response was significantly over-expressed in triple receptor negative cancers. 

The team investigated, by bioinformatic approaches, the expression of 133 key enzymes in metabolism, showing that they were strongly associated with different subtypes of breast cancer, which may help in selection of patients for future intervention studies.

Overall, although anti-angiogenic therapy alone is now withdrawn from clinical utility in breast cancer, the massive induction of hypoxic microenvironment and synergy with many other therapeutics, suggests that as new approach using induced essentiality should be reassessed in breast cancer.