A project co-funded by Corus finds a new therapeutic alternative for HER2+ breast cancer

April 2023

In October, with Nobrux, Corus donated €10,000 to help co-fund the project ‘New HER2+ Breast Cancer Therapies’ led by Dr Gema Moreno (Science Foundation of the Spanish Breast Cancer Association). And the study got results! A discovery was made that has opened the doors to a new therapeutic alternative for patients with HER2+ breast cancer, an alternative that can also be applied to other HER2+ tumours.

Twenty per cent of breast cancers are HER2+, a highly aggressive sub-type with a bad prognosis. This is because, while anti-HER2 therapies exist, a lot of patients develop resistance to them. Research supported by the Spanish Breast Cancer Association has deciphered one of the mechanisms that lead anti-HER2 treatments to fail in certain cases. Specifically, the solution is in the protein Gasdermin B and how it makes the tumour resistant to treatment.

The researchers knew that when there is a higher production of the protein Gasdermin B in HER2+ breast cancer cells, the prognosis is worse and the risk of resistance to treatment and of metastasis is higher. Dr Gema Moreno-Bueno’s team has spent years studying the implications of this protein for cancer and they have now identified the exact mechanism through which Gasdermin B makes the tumour resistant to treatment. Identifying this mechanism has made it possible to propose a new strategy to prevent resistance developing. Using animal models, this study has confirmed how to prevent this resistance: by combining existing anti-HER2 therapies with a second medication called chloroquine, which has already been approved for use with other diseases. This discovery is the fruit of a partnership between the team of Dr Moreno-Bueno, researcher at the Alberto Sols Biomedical Research Institute (CSIC-UAM), the MD Anderson Foundation and CIBERONC, and the laboratories of Dr David Llobet, IDIBELL, Dr Ruth Rodríguez, University of Barcelona and Dr Joaquín Arribas, Vall d’Hebron Oncology Institute. It has opened the doors to a new therapeutic alternative for patients with HER2+ breast cancer and can also be applied to other HER2+ tumours.

For the second year running, Corus has renewed its commitment to science and research in the fight against breast cancer.

For more information, visit www.nobruxcontraelcancer.com.