Scientists from Weill Cornell Medical College and Houston Methodist have found that a gene previously unassociated with breast cancer plays a pivotal role in the growth and progression of the triple negative form of the disease, a particularly deadly strain that often has few treatment options.
About 42,000 new cases of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) are diagnosed in the United States each year, about 20 percent of all breast cancer diagnoses. Patients typically relapse within one to three years of being treated.
Senior author Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College, wanted to know whether the gene -- already understood from her prior work to be a critical regulator of immune and metabolic functions -- was important to cancer's ability to adapt and thrive in the oxygen- and nutrient-deprived environments inside of tumors. Using cells taken from patients' tumors and transplanted into mice, Dr. Glimcher's team found that the gene, XBP1, is especially active in triple negative breast cancer, particularly in the progression of malignant cells and their resurgence after treatment.
Read more on the finding here: http://bit.ly/1dsuwN0 Source: ScienceDaily website