• Scientists locate new target for triple-negative breast cancer
    Scientists locate new target for triple-negative breast cancer

Electrophoretic Separations

Scientists locate new target for triple-negative breast cancer

Mar 21 2013

Scientists have found a new target for triple-negative breast cancer.

Researchers from Austria and Greece looked at 170 tumour samples from patients with triple negative breast cancer, discovering that women with the condition are more likely to have high levels of the MET biomarker in their tumours.

It was also discovered that women with high levels of the biomarker were three times more likely to have a recurrence of breast cancer within five years of diagnosis than those on low levels, equating to 33 per cent compared with 11 per cent.

As well as this, almost 90 per cent of the tumours had high levels of the biomarker.

Professor Martin Filipits, study author from the Medical University of Vienna, said: "Our findings suggest that levels of the MET biomarker in a patient’s breast tumour could be an important way of predicting the best type of treatment for women with triple negative breast cancer.

"This aggressive type of breast cancer is harder to treat as the tumours don’t have the receptors that the common drugs can target – blocking the growth of the tumour."

Mr Filipits went on to say that knowing which women have high levels of the molecule in their tumours could assist doctors in adapting to their treatment.

Levels of the biomarker could also give an idea of the likelihood of cancer returning, he explained.

Dr Julie Sharp, senior science information manager at Cancer Research UK, also commented on the news, explaining that triple negative breast cancer can be very difficult to treat but the research could open up new approaches of monitoring it.

"Last year a Cancer Research UK study found that even among patients with the same type of breast cancer, such as triple negative, no two women’s tumours will be exactly the same," Ms Sharp noted.

Posted by Fiona Griffiths

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