How circulating tumor cells escape from multidrug resistance: translating molecular mechanisms in metastatic breast cancer treatment.
ABSTRACT Resistance to anthracyclines is responsible for treatment failure in most patients with metastatic breast cancer. According to recent studies, the expression of specific drug transporters (MRPs) on circulating tumor cells is predictive of prognosis in different cancer types. We observed that patients whose circulating tumor cells expressed MRP1 and MRP2, two drug-export pumps responsible for anthracyclines efflux, who received conventional anthracyclines had a significantly shorter time to progression compared with patients sharing same characteristics who received non pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (P < 0.005). These results may highlight a new appealing role of the liposomal doxorubicin formulation, not only because of its reduced cardiac toxicity but especially referring to its theoretical efficacy in anthracycline-resistant breast cancer patients.