Die and let live: harnessing BikDD to combat breast cancer stem cells
1 Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA
2 Department of Clinical Sciences and Administration, University of Houston, College of Pharmacy, Houston, TX 77030, USA
3 Dan L Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA
4 Margaret M and Albert B Alkek Department of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA
5 Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Breast Cancer Research 2012, 14:310 doi:10.1186/bcr3125Published: 23 May 2012
One of the possible mechanisms contributing to the intrinsic resistance of cancer stem cells (CSCs) to conventional therapies is the inefficiency of activating the apoptotic machinery. In a recent study by Lang and colleagues, the engineered constitutively active pro-apoptotic protein BikDD, which works by inhibiting multiple Bcl-2 family members, was tested in various preclinical breast cancer models. Delivered to cells via an innovative cancer cell-specific gene-therapy approach, BikDD showed potent activity against CSCs and synergized with lapatinib and paclitaxel treatment. This novel and promising therapy warrants further translation to the clinic.