Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Protein may predict breast cancer outcomes

CANCER DIGEST – Aug. 25, 2014 – Researchers have identified a protein that may be the first biomarker for breast cancer that has begun to spread to other parts of the body. 

In a study published online today, Canadian researchers at McGill University, Montreal led by Josie Ursini-Siegel show that elevated levels of the protein, named p66ShcA, in the blood is strongly linked to genes that trigger a process that aids tumor cells to begin seeping into the blood stream. The study appeared online in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology.

The researchers were able to show that elevated levels of the protein were linked to metastasis in all types of breast cancer. If confirmed in more research, p66ShcA could serve as the first biomarker for poor outcome regardless of the type of breast cancer.

The ability to predict prognosis for breast cancers is critical to managing treatment. Those with good prognisis can be spared aggressive treatment, with its associated side effects, while those with more threatening cancer might be treated more aggressively earlier to improve outcomes.  

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