Research ArticleCancer

Triple-negative breast cancers with amplification of JAK2 at the 9p24 locus demonstrate JAK2-specific dependence

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Science Translational Medicine  13 Apr 2016:
Vol. 8, Issue 334, pp. 334ra53
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aad3001

Playing with JAKs

Janus kinase (JAK) proteins are well known to be involved in cancer progression, and drugs such as ruxolitinib target these proteins, specifically JAK1 and JAK2. Balko et al. demonstrated frequent amplification of JAK2 in triple-negative breast cancer, a particularly aggressive and deadly form of the disease and showed that it was associated with decreased survival. The authors observed that JAK2 inhibition was effective in treating this type of breast cancer in mouse models. They also found that inhibiting JAK1 along with JAK2 in this context rendered the treatment ineffective, explaining why ruxolitinib does not work in triple-negative breast cancer and suggesting that specific JAK2 inhibitors may be a better approach.

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