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Peptides and Small Molecules Targeting the Plasminogen Activation System: Towards Prophylactic Anti-Metastasis Drugs for Breast Cancer

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Breast cancer is the most common malignancy afflicting Western women today and is responsible for many deaths due to metastatic disease. Upregulation of the plasminogen-activation system (PAS) has been shown to correlate with poor prognosis in metastatic breast cancer and targeting this system represents an attractive strategy for the development of anti-metastasis prophylactic drugs. Two promising classes of PAS-targeting agents are inhibitors of the serine protease activity of urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and antagonists of the interaction of uPA with its cell surface receptor (uPAR). This review begins with a brief overview of the role of PAS in cancer metastasis before describing in detail a subset of the small molecules and peptides from the patent literature that target either uPA activity or uPA/uPAR interactions for use as anti-metastasis drugs.

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Keywords: Breast cancer; WX-UK1; adjuvant chemotherapy; antagonist; inhibitor; metastasis; plasminogen activation system; protease; uPA; uPAR

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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  • Recent Patents on Anti-Cancer Drug Discovery publishes review articles on recent patents in the field of anti-cancer drug discovery e.g. novel bioactive compounds, analogs & targets. A selection of important and recent patents on anti-cancer drug discovery is also included in the journal. The journal is essential reading for all researchers involved in anti-cancer drug design and discovery.
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