Hsp90 inhibitors and drug resistance in cancer: The potential benefits of combination therapies of Hsp90 inhibitors and other anti-cancer drugs

Academic Article


  • Hsp90 is a chaperone protein that interacts with client proteins that are known to be in the cell cycle, signaling and chromatin-remodeling pathways. Hsp90 inhibitors act additively or synergistically with many other drugs in the treatment of both solid tumors and leukemias in murine tumor models and humans. Hsp90 inhibitors potentiate the actions of anti-cancer drugs that target Hsp90 client proteins, including trastuzumab (Herceptin™) which targets Her2/Erb2B, as Hsp90 inhibition elicits the drug effects in cancer cell lines that are otherwise resistant to the drug. A phase II study of the Hsp90 inhibitor 17-AAG and trastuzumab showed that this combination therapy has anticancer activity in patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer progressing on trastuzumab. In this review, we discuss the results of Hsp90 inhibitors in combination with trastuzumab and other cancer drugs. We also discuss recent results from yeast focused on the genetics of drug resistance when Hsp90 is inhibited and the implications that this might have in understanding the effects of genetic variation in treating cancer in humans. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lu X; Xiao L; Wang L; Ruden DM
  • Start Page

  • 995
  • End Page

  • 1004
  • Volume

  • 83
  • Issue

  • 8