An experimental drug called BHPI has been shown to stop estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer growth 92 percent of the time in 10 days or less. An added benefit of the drug is a reduction in tumor size. University of Illinois biochemistry professor David Shapiro and colleagues developed the drug that is different in its action from any other breast cancer therapy presently used. The development was reported in the March 30, 2015, edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
BHPI accelerates the action of a pathway called the unfolded protein response. The unfolded protein response normally acts to protect cells from stress and inflammation and helps cells to grow. BHPI turns the unfolded protein response into a cancer cell killer. The drug prevents cancer cells from using the natural growth properties of the breast cells against the body. The drug was also found to be effective in all estrogen accelerated cancers including ovarian and endometrial cancer. The drug eliminates the energy source for cancer so cancer cells cannot grow.
The development has produced phenomenal results in mice. Compared to most breast cancer treatments the side effects of BHPI are minimal. The best case scenario is that the drug will be available for women in five to ten years. The FDA may favor a particular drug company and its breast cancer treatment and the release of BHPI will be delayed indefinitely. This is an astounding stride in breast cancer treatment. The development means no radiation therapy is needed and results happen in 10 days.