Health Watch — Cancer Research: Breast Cancer Gene

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about new discoveries in cancer research. One of the big dangers in breast cancer is metastasis, or the spread of the cancer from the breast tumor to other parts of the body. Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered a way that multiple copies of a particular gene are responsible for metastasis in early-stage cancer — and the poor chances of survival for those patients.

The gene is involved in a process that allows membranes to break down so that cancer cells can get into the rest of the body. Dr. Jonathan Uhr, a cancer researcher and microbiologist at UT Southwestern, says this knowledge can help in the development of targeted treatments. It could also allow researchers to develop screening tools to indicate which treatments are most likely to be effective for each patient. 

             


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January 2007

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