Contact: Julia Evangelou Strait
Washington University School of Medicine
Caption: New research raises the prospect that some cancer patients with aggressive tumors may benefit from a class of anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Studying triple-negative breast cancer, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that some aggressive tumors rely on an antiviral pathway that appears to drive inflammation, widely recognized for roles in cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. A mouse mammary gland missing the tumor suppressor p53 shows expression of ARF (green), now known for a backup role in protecting cells from becoming cancerous. If both p53 and ARF are mutated, the tumors that form are aggressive and may benefit from treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs called JAK inhibitors, currently prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis.
Credit: Raleigh Kladney
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