Sneaky Protein Helps Spread Cancer?
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – For the many cancer patients who have had their cancer return or even survive treatment, fighting the disease can seem to be an uphill battle. However, researchers may have discovered what is behind cancers powerful ability to survive.
The cancer studied in this research is one of the most difficult breast cancers to treat, triple negative cancer.
A protein, named TGF-β, was spotted by researchers as being highly expressed in the cells of triple negative cancers even after the cells underwent chemotherapy, leading researchers to believe the protein plays an important role in cancer survival and recurrence.
Researchers used mouse models of cancer to further study TGF- β. It was found that the protein diverted cells down a path to becoming cancerous as well as aided in the return of cancer cells after treatment.
Furthermore, when the amount TGF-β was lowered in the mice it stopped tumors from recurring.
Knowing how important the protein is to cancers’ ability to elude chemotherapy could lead to treatments which block TGF-β, possibly increasing the likelihood of treating the cancer completely and preventing recurrence.
Although more needs to be known about the protein in relation to humans, a new and better cancer treatment may be just on the horizon.
Source: Journal of Clinical Investigation, February 2013