A team of researchers led by Dr. Richard Kremer from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) has identified a possible target for slowing the spread of breast cancer. The newly identified target, parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), is present at high levels in cancers at specific growth points, or stages, when the cancer is spreading, progressing or moving to a new site. The proposed strategy would be to reduce this protein and thus diminish the progression of breast cancer metastasis and tumor growth.
Results showed a significant reduction in tumor growth when researchers removed the hormone via a strategy called “conditional knockout.” Additionally, Dr. Kremer and his team have a monoclonal antibody that blocks the hormone; monoclonal antibodies are a current topic of interest in treatment for metastatic breast cancer, providing a strongly effective method of blocking key components of cancer cell growth.
Watch for further studies in this area of research.
Jiarong Li, Andrew C. Karaplis, Dao C. Huang, Peter M. Siegel, Anne Camirand, Xian Fang Yang, William J. Muller, Richard Kremer. PTHrP drives breast tumor initiation, progression, and metastasis in mice and is a potential therapy target. In Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2011; DOI: 10.1172/JCI46134
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