Members of the laboratory of Hal Moses, M.D., previously identified the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway as an important regulator of breast cancer. In a collaboration with Dineo Khabele, M.D., and Charles Hong, M.D., Ph.D., Philip Owens, Ph.D., and colleagues showed this pathway is switched on in ovarian cancer cells. They also revealed a BMP pathway inhibitor, DMH1, that reduced tumor size and enhanced the effects of cisplatin, a common treatment for ovarian cancer.
These findings, published in Cancer Letters, suggest combining DMH1 – or other BMP pathway inhibitors – with standard chemotherapy drugs may overcome resistance. Further research with the Vanderbilt Ovarian Cancer Alliance could lead to more effective ovarian cancer treatments.
This work was supported by grants from the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, National Institutes of Health (CA085492, CA102162), the Robert J. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation and the T.J. Martell Foundation.