Breast cancer may get new drug treatment

Jun 21, 2011

Breakthrough may provide new cancer treatment

In a recent medical breakthrough, researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston have identified a pool of 15 genes that are associated with the growth of triple-negative breast cancer.

This type of cancer affects more than 40,000 women a year, often making it expensive or impossible for them to find a life insurance provider. This disease does not respond to drugs that target other forms of breast cancer, and women suffering from triple-negative often die sooner, said the study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

This new discovery will allow doctors to begin clinical trials for alternative treatment measures. The genes that were identified are also seen in certain types of blood cancer, and there are drugs currently available that are used to treat them, the media outlet reports. Doctors hope that these drugs will also be effective in treating triple-negative breast cancer.

"The discovery of these targets will rapidly lead to clinical trials with the hope of achieving one of the first specific therapies for triple-negative breast cancers," Kornelia Polyak, a breast cancer geneticist at Dana-Farber, and the study's lead author.  

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