Researchers in the United Kingdom have discovered three, previously unknown, genes near the estrogen receptor in breast cancer patients, which may lead to a new and more effective treatment in as little as 5 years!
In a 5-year study, scientists studied the DNA of 104 breast cancer patients, all of which had something known as estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer or ER+. This particular diagnosis accounts for 4 out of 5 breast tumors.
Estrogen fuels the tumor by latching onto proteins on the surface of cancer cells known as receptors.
Doctors have been using treatments to cut off the supply of estrogen to the receptors, however, tumors frequently became resistant to this type of treatment and return after surgery to spread throughout the body.
Although the estrogen receptor is still the main cause of hormonal breast cancer, researchers hope to study the three genes, which all act separately and exert influence over the cancers behavior, to come up with a new treatment.
Dr. Anita Dunbier, the study's lead author, said:
"We now have to look further at how these genes work but the discovery could lead to possible new therapies that will benefit women with breast cancer in the near future."
One of the genes has been discovered to drive the growth of tumors, so it will most likely be the focus of drug research.
Research has just begun and any usable treatment is still years away, but this is still an exciting breakthrough that may help save thousands of lives in the future!
[Image via AP Images.]
Tags: breast cancer, cure, estrogen, medication, research, surgery, treatment, united kingdom