Heat shock proteins and drug resistance

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1994;32(1):67-71. doi: 10.1007/BF00666207.


Heat shock proteins (hsp's) are induced in cells when exposed to different environmental stressful conditions. We have found that breast cancer cells sometimes express high levels of several hsp's, which may both augment the aggressiveness of these tumors and make them more resistant to treatment. We have shown that hsp70 is an ominous prognostic sign as detected by Western blot assays in node-negative breast tumors, and that hsp27 increases specific resistance to doxorubicin in breast cancer cell lines. These findings have direct clinical application, and suggest that modulating hsp expression may be a therapeutic target for reversal of hsp-associated detrimental cellular effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Drug Resistance
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / drug effects
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / physiology
  • Heat-Shock Proteins* / drug effects
  • Heat-Shock Proteins* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Prognosis


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Heat-Shock Proteins