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Cancer Res. 2008 Jan 15;68(2):346-51. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-07-1183.

Nerve growth factor is a potential therapeutic target in breast cancer.

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  • 1INSERM U908, Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale, University Lille 1, Lille, France.


We show here that nerve growth factor (NGF), the prototypic neurotrophin, can be targeted in breast cancer to inhibit tumor cell proliferation, survival, and metastasis. Analysis of a series of biopsies revealed widespread expression of NGF in the majority of human breast tumors, with anti-NGF immunoreactivity concentrated in the epithelial cancer cells. Moreover, immunodeficient mice xenografted with human breast cancer cells and treated with either anti-NGF antibodies or small interfering RNA against NGF displayed inhibited tumor growth and metastasis. Such treatments directed against NGF induced a decrease in cell proliferation with a concomitant increase in apoptosis of breast cancer cells and an inhibition of tumor angiogenesis. Together, these data indicate that targeting NGF in breast cancer may have therapeutic ramifications.

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