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Home Industry News Scientists make potential breast cancer therapy breakthrough

Scientists make potential breast cancer therapy breakthrough

23rd July 2013

Patients with oestrogen receptor-positive breast cancer could be treated more easily in future thanks to a new discovery by an international research team.

Sydney's Garvan Institute of Medical Research allied with Cardiff University to find a biological change that occurs when tumours become resistant to anti-oestrogen therapy which could increase their susceptibility to chemotherapy.

It was found that the BCL-2 gene – which plays a key role in keeping cells alive – becomes epigenetically silenced in resistant tumours, meaning these patients could benefit from a combination of tamoxifen and chemotherapy.

This process is potentially detectable in the blood and could provide a diagnostic marker for the development of a test that can identify patients who would respond well to this kind of treatment.

Dr Andrew Stone of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research said: "If such a test were to be implemented, we believe it could help patients much earlier – hopefully shutting down tumours at an early stage."

Breast cancer is the most common cancer type in the UK, with around 48,000 women contracting the disease annually.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801615889-ADNFCR

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