In this study we performed the most comprehensive analysis of HER family receptor alterations in cervical cancer. We described that HER2 protein is an independent prognostic marker for these patients. Importantly, by in vitro and in vivo approaches, we showed that HER2 inhibitors are effective in reducing cervical cancer aggressiveness, similar to what happens for breast cancer patients. Moreover, combination of these drugs with glucose uptake blockers is able to overcome a putative resistance to HER targeted therapies.
Relevance/impact of this work for the society
In addition to conventional chemotherapy, there are no molecular targeted therapies, that decrease the cytotoxic effects of conventional therapies, approved for cervical cancer patients’ treatment. In this work we demonstrated the effectiveness of anti-HER2 therapies in this tumor type, which may in the near future have a positive consequence in the therapeutic decision for patients who are positive for the expression of this protein, which may result in a significant increase of patients’ overall survival, similar to what already happens in patients with breast cancer.
Although effective and greatly improving the overall survival of oncological patients, the long exposure to molecular targeted therapies may lead to the development of therapy resistance. Thus, we intend to continue the work in order to identify the mechanisms of resistance underlying the use of anti-HER2 therapies in this specific type of tumors, in a way to offer more and better therapeutic approaches for cervical cancer patients.
Olga Martinho - email