Eric Prossnitz, PhD, hopes to help many of the 12% of American women who are projected to be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes. He and his team have recently completed studies on a compound they think could be made to attack breast cancer cells differently than current drugs. Their work is reported in the November online issue of Cell Chemical Biology.
Prossnitz understands firsthand the long path between discovery and U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval. A professor and cancer scientist at The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center, he has studied breast cancer for the past 15 years. One of the compounds that he and his team discovered in 2006 has been licensed to Linnaeus Therapeutics for the treatment of melanoma and other cancers. Phase I clinical trials began at the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2019.
Prossnitz remains cautiously optimistic that the compound he and his team are now studying could help thousands of women. According to the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results program, more than 80% of women with breast cancer have estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer.