Researchers Discover Switch That Could Turn Off An Aggressive Breast Cancer Growth

Researchers Discover Switch That Could Turn Off An Aggressive Breast Cancer Growth

This will be a huge hit if successful after the clinical trial.

Image Source: Getty Images/klebercordeiro

Cancer is one of the worst kind of illness one can go through. It's something we know will sometimes result in our lives, but we still fight till the end to fix it. Now, it seems that researchers at Tulane University School of Medicine have identified a gene that causes a particularly aggressive type of cancer to rapidly grow. The researchers have, more importantly, found a way to turn it off, and also prevent cancer from occurring, reports Good News Network. The prototype was initially tested on animals and it was a huge success, which has led the FDA to seek approval to begin clinical trials. 


Details of the study have been published in the journal Scientific Reports. A team of scientists, led by Dr. Reza Izadpanah examined the role two genes play in causing triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). TNBC is known to be one of the most aggressive forms of cancer. It even has a much poorer prognosis and a lesser chance of survival. Izadpanah’s team specifically singled out an inhibitor of the TRAF3IP2 gene, which is notoriously known to suppress the growth and spread (metastasis) of TNBC in mouse models that closely resemble humans.


Parallelly, studies were conducted on a  duo of genes—TRAF3IP2 and Rab27a. These genes are known to secrete a substance that causes tumor formation, so the study was basically to know what would happen if they were stopped from functioning as usual. That's when they found out that by suppressing the expressions of these genes, there a decline in both tumor growth and the spread of cancer to other organs. According to Izadpanah, when Rab27a was silenced, the tumor did not grow but was still spreading a small number of cancer cells to other parts of the body.


However, when the TRAF3IP2 gene was muted, they found that the original tumor cells did not spread for a full year following the treatment. Not just that, by turning off the TRAF3IP2 gene not only stopped future tumors from growing, but it also shrank existing tumors, so much that they almost became undetected. “Our findings show that both genes play a role in breast cancer growth and metastasis,” says Izadpanah. “While targeting Rab27a delays the progression of tumor growth, it fails to affect the spread of tiny amounts of cancer cells, or micrometastasis."


"On the contrary, targeting TRAF3IP2 suppresses tumor growth and spread—and interfering with it both shrinks pre-formed tumors and prevents additional spread. This exciting discovery has revealed that TRAF3IP2 can play a role as a novel therapeutic target in breast cancer treatment.” Dr. Bysani Chandrasekar of the University of Missouri has also joined the team to help with their research efforts and they discovered that targeting TRAF3IP2 can stop the spread of glioblastoma, a deadly brain cancer with limited treatment options. This is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by maxine devereaux (@max_devereaux) on


Recommended for you