logo
Plus   Neg
Share
Email

Researchers Find Link Between Protein In Breast Cancer And Metastasis

pharma-032918-lt.jpg

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the U.S., after skin cancer. As of January 2018, there are more than 3.1 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S., according to BREASTCANCER.ORG.

The most aggressive type of breast cancer is HER2-positive breast cancer as it has the potential to grow and spread more rapidly than other types. If the breast cancer tests positive for a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), it is HER2-positive breast cancer. About 20% of breast cancers are HER2-positive breast cancer.

Since 90 percent of cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, blocking metastasis will go a long way in saving the lives of cancer patients.

A study conducted on mice by researchers of the University of Montreal, led by Jean-François Côté, have found a link between a certain protein called AXL and metastases in HER2-positive breast cancer.

In HER2-positive breast cancers, cells with high levels of AXL are more likely to detach from tumors to form metastases - i.e., the cells enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system and spread to a different part of the body. The protein AXL, if deactivated could prevent the development of metastases in HER2-positive breast cancer, say the researchers.

This is not the first time that AXL has been associated with cancers. Previous studies have found that is AXL is overexpressed in triple-negative breast cancer. However, this is for the first time that the presence of AXL protein has been examined in HER2-positive breast cancer.

Côté and his team also found that when mice with HER2-positive tumors were administered an experimental AXL-inhibiting drug therapy, the metastases were less prone to develop.

The research findings are published in the journal Cell Reports.

For comments and feedback contact: editorial@rttnews.com

Health News

More Health News

0 Articles
Follow RTT