Thursday, March 13, 2008

Breast Cancer ‘Master Gene’ Found

Scientists in America had identified a key gene, which cause to the spread of breast cancer tumor to other parts of the body. This finding can be lead to the development of drugs to cure the patients with breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer type, after lung cancer, and it is the fifth most common cause of cancer death. It can occur both in men and women, however, it is really rare that a man to have it. Among women, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer, both in incidence and death. Estimated new incidences of breast cancer in United States in 2008 is 184,450 and estimated death from it is 40,930.

The scientists found that a gene called SATB1 is expressed in breast cancer sells, and it controls around 1,000 other genes in tumor cells, which facilitates the spread of cancer cells.

SATB1 is a nuclear protein, and it is well known as a very important master gene in immune system, as it takes crucial role in regulating gene expression during differentiation and activation of T-cells. In this research, it is discovered that this master gene has a cause to spreading breast cancer tumor.

When STAB1 is over activated, it results to the numerous other genes to promote metastasis. The researchers found that when SATB1 is present in a breast tumor, there is high possibility that the cancer will progress or recur. In addition to this, it is found that when SATB1 is introduced into non metastatic breast cancer cells in mice, it can induce invasive cancer tumors. The interesting point is that the opposite way of this reaction was also been observed that taking SATB1 away from metastatic cells not only stop metastasis and tumor growth in mice, but it also returns cells to their normal appearances.

This discovery of the gene SATB1 becoming the key cause in aggressive breast cancer can be lead to the development of new treatment for the breast cancer in the future.

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