Breast cancer gene breakthrough

Scientists discover gene responsible for spread of breast cancer

Scientists have today revealed they have discovered a way to stop breast cancer from spreading.

The revolutionary advancement gives the green light for the development of drugs which could stop the spread of the disease – the most common cancer in the UK – and help save the lives of 44,000 women diagnosed with the illness every year.

Breast cancer becomes most deadly when it disbands from the breast, prompting tumours to grow in other areas of the body. The process is known as metastasis.

Now scientists have pinpointed the gene that causes the spread of the cancer and were able to remove this gene (known as SATB1) from cancer cells, halting its growth, and even turned the cancer cell back to normal.

Dr Sarah Cant, Policy Manager at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said of the research: ‘This is a very interesting study which provides us with new information about how aggressive breast cancer tumours may grow and spread. However it is important to remember that this research looked at cancer cells grown in the lab and is at a very early stage.’

She added: ‘Understanding more about the role of the protein SATB1 in breast cancers in patients could help clinicians to better determine a patient’s prognosis and might even lead to future new treatments for women with advanced or metastatic breast cancer.’

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