Health Watch - Cancer Research: Estrogen's Effects

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about scientific research into cancer, as part of the ongoing effort to find new treatments. Doctors have known for a while that estrogen plays a big role in the development of breast cancer. Now they have a better idea of exactly what effect estrogen has on cells.

Most breast cancers contain estrogen receptors, and those receptors have been a target of some cancer treatment. But now researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center and their colleagues at Cornell University have found a way to measure the specific effect of estrogen in real time at a molecular level. Dr. W. Lee Kraus, a UT Southwestern reproductive biologist, says estrogen affects a large percentage of ribonucleic acid molecules in breast cancer cells, turning genes off and on very quickly. This knowledge gives researchers a lot of potential areas to explore to find ways to modify cell growth and response to estrogen for fighting breast cancer. 


July 2011

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