Overactive genes hold key to breast cancer

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  • A report by scientists have identified an overactive gene network in aggressive breast cancers

    Scientists have identified an overactive gene network which drives breast cancer cells enriched in ‘triple-negative’ tumours – the most deadly form of breast cancer – which doesn’t respond to current treatment.

    The report published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation today showed that a drug specifically designed to block this pathway, successfully halted the growth of tumours in mice.

    ‘The discovery of these targets will rapidly lead to clinical trials with the hope of achieving one of the first specific therapies for triple-negative breast cancers, says Geneticist Dr Kornelia Polyak, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, U.S.

    women, This type of aggressive breast cancer affects around one in seven women and usually tends to occur in younger black women and those women carrying BRCA1 gene mutations.

    ‘This research is very exciting as new treatments for triple-negative breast cancer are urgently needed,’ says Dr Caitlin Palframan, from the charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

    ‘There are limited treatment options available for this group of patients so a targeted treatment would be a real breakthrough.

    ‘However, this is early stage research in mice and we look forward to seeing if this approach will approve affective in the upcoming clinical trials.’


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