Bone medicine may have 2 uses

Los Angeles Times - - Business -

Am­gen Inc.’s deno­sumab, ap­proved to treat os­teo­poro­sis and be­ing tested to re­duce the spread of can­cer to bones, may have po­ten­tial to treat a type of breast tu­mor, early re­search sug­gests.

Mice with breast can­cer fu­eled by the hor­mone pro­ges­terone had their tu­mors shrink when a pro­tein called RANK lig­and was blocked, ac­cord­ing to a study by Am­gen re­searchers pub­lished in the jour­nal Na­ture. RANK lig­and plays a key role in bone re­gen­er­a­tion and is the tar­get of deno­sumab, a drug that Am­gen has made the fo­cus of the biggest devel­op­ment pro­gram in its his­tory.

The find­ings sug­gest the RANK lig­and may be a driv­ing force in breast can­cers linked to pro­ges­terone and that stop­ping it, as deno­sumab does in os­teo­poro­sis, may treat the malig­nancy. The study, along with a sim­i­lar paper pub­lished in Na­ture, sug­gests for the first time that deno­sumab may help a con­di­tion that has noth­ing to do with bone.

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