Author(s): J C Hahne
Breast cancer accounts for 23% of all new tumour cases and it is the most common cancer among women worldwide. A high percentage (15-25% of all breast cancer cases) is characterized as triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Although TNBCs are sensitive to chemotherapy, survival of patients with these tumours is poor. Lack of effective therapies, younger age at onset and early metastatic spread have contributed to the poor prognosis and outcomes associated with TNBC. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/ AKT-pathway plays a critical role in malignant transformation of tumours and their subsequent growth, proliferation and metastasis as well as in activation of pathways that result in immune-escape mechanisms. Therefore, the PI3K/AKT pathway is considered an attractive candidate for therapeutic interventions. A modified FATAL assay was used as an in-vitro system to investigate the interaction between TNBC cell lines and natural killer (NK)-cells. Furthermore, the ability of PI3K/AKT inhibition with AEZS-126 to selectively target TNBC cell proliferation and survival was explored. In parallel, we analyzed mechanisms of cytotoxicity related to PI3K/AKT inhibition.
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