In March, studies conducted at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University learned “when mutated, a gene known for its ability to repair DNA, appears to instead cause breast cancer, scientists report”. These studies, published in the American Journal of Pathology, were performed on an international sampling from 254 cases of breast cancer in pre- and postmenopausal women.
The gene GT-198, when mutated has great potential to diagnose breast cancer early and serve as a new treatment target. Mutations of the gene are known to be present in both early onset breast and ovarian cancer. Scientists are reporting that the stem, which should essentially make healthy breast tissue, can instead make a perfect bed for breast cancer. Dr. Lan Ko explains, “this gene mutation can be in both the blood and the tumor tissue of patients, and in the tissue, it’s in high percentages. We believe that once this gene is mutated, it induces the tumor to grow.”
All different types of stromal cells in breast tissue are affected by the GT198 mutation because they all come from a progenitor cell. The next steps for this team include pursuing therapies, including antibodies and herb-derived treatments, that target the the misguided progenitor cells versus only targeting the cancerous breast tissue. “We think the way to treat breast cancer is to target the progenitor cells. We want to kill these cells that are feeding the tumor rather than just killing the tumor cells, which is less effective,” Ko said.
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Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. “New Gene Identified as Cause, Early
Indicator of Breast Cancer.” ScienceDaily. Retrieved from: