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Adenosine receptors in breast cancer


Breast cancer is mainly treated by surgery followed by adjuvant drug therapy. However, resistance to the drugs used, such as tamoxifen, is a major clinical problem. There is, therefore, much interest in the development of novel therapies. Adenosine is known to prevent the growth of a number of different cancer cells and consequently has therapeutic potential.

Aims of Project

We have previously shown that increasing extracellular and intracellular adenosine levels by a variety of pharmacological agents inhibited the proliferation of oestrogen receptor-positive, tamoxifen-sensitive and -resistant breast cancer cells. Importantly, the tamoxifen-resistant cells were more sensitive to the effects of adenosine, raising the possibility that manipulations of adenosine levels could be useful as a therapy for this disease. I have a new project which will aim to extend and enhance these studies, providing important information on clinically used anti-cancer agents which increase adenosine levels and investigating the underlying mechanisms of action of these agents.