Potential new treatment for breast cancer aims to prevent recurrence by targeting dormant cells that can cause relapses.

They may awaken after many years or even several decades.

March 26th 2024.

Potential new treatment for breast cancer aims to prevent recurrence by targeting dormant cells that can cause relapses.
Scientists have made a groundbreaking discovery in the fight against breast cancer. They have uncovered a way to prevent cancer cells from going into a dormant state and reawakening years later, leading to a relapse. This exciting finding offers hope for new treatments that can stop breast cancer from returning after it has been treated.

The study focused on a specific type of breast cancer known as oestrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer. This type of cancer is sensitive to oestrogen, meaning that the hormone helps the cancer cells grow and divide. Treatment for ER+ breast cancer often involves a combination of therapies and surgery, tailored to each patient's individual needs.

However, the treatment can sometimes cause changes in the cancer cells, causing them to enter a dormant state rather than dying off. This is where the breakthrough comes in. Researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research in London have identified the mechanism behind these changes, which could lead to new treatments that can completely stop the cancer.

According to Professor Luca Magnani, the team's findings showed that an enzyme called G9a plays a crucial role in the cancer cells' ability to evade therapy by remaining dormant. By inhibiting G9a, the researchers were able to prevent the cancer cells from entering a dormant state and also kill any cells that were already hibernating.

This discovery is particularly significant as it could potentially eliminate the need for patients to undergo hormone therapy for five to ten years after surgery to remove the primary cancer. This therapy aims to kill any remaining cancer cells, but it does not work for all patients, with some experiencing a relapse years or even decades later.

Dr. Magnani explains that their research aims to understand why breast cancer returns so that they can find ways to prevent it. This would not only spare patients the fear of a potential relapse but also the devastating news that comes with it.

So what are the symptoms of breast cancer that we should look out for? According to Cancer Research UK, we should regularly check our breasts for any changes, such as a new lump or thickening in the breast or armpit, a change in the size, shape, or feel of the breast, and skin changes like puckering, dimpling, or a rash.

Other signs to watch out for include fluid leaking from the nipple in a woman who is not pregnant or breastfeeding, and changes in the position of the nipple. It is essential to stay aware of these symptoms and report any changes to a doctor as early detection can greatly improve the chances of survival.

Dr. Tayyaba Jiwani, the science engagement manager at Cancer Research UK, which funded the research, emphasizes the importance of early detection and screening in improving breast cancer survival rates. However, she also acknowledges that cancer cells can lie dormant in the body for many years before reawakening, causing a relapse.

This study has provided an innovative approach to analyzing the genetics of dormant cancer cells and gaining insight into the mechanisms behind their dormancy. While these findings are still in the early stages, they reveal potential new targets for the development of innovative treatments that can prevent breast cancer from returning. This gives hope to thousands of people diagnosed with breast cancer every year and brings us one step closer to winning the fight against this devastating disease.

[This article has been trending online recently and has been generated with AI. Your feed is customized.]