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Cancer-Cell Specific Breast Cancer Therapy

Posted Nov 10 2009 12:00am
New cancer research published in the open-access journal Breast Cancer Research demonstrates the future potential of a cancer-cell specific breast cancer therapy.  PolyADP-ribose polymerase (PARP), a cell messenger, is best known for its important role in DNA repair; however, in combination with a different cell messenger (ERK2) it has been shown to increase some cancer genes.  This new breast cancer research examined the effect of blocking PARP on the growth of normal and malignant cells.

In cell culture studies the breast cancer research investigators treated human breast cancer cells and normal (non-malignant) human epithelial cells with three different PARP inhibitors.  In all the cells studied, treatment with this potential new breast cancer therapy stopped cell growth; however, the normal human cells overcame this stoppage and continued to grow normally, while the breast cancer cells did not overcome the arrest of cell growth and subsequently died.  Therefore, this potential new breast cancer therapy successfully killed breast cancer cells without harming normal cells in culture.

In a subsequent mouse study of this potential new breast cancer therapy, mice were injected with human breast cancer cells and then treated with a 14-day continuous infusion of the PARP inhibitors.  In mice not receiving breast cancer therapy, tumors developed within about 2 - 7 weeks.  In contrast, mice receiving the breast cancer therapy did not develop tumors out to at least 10 weeks.  Additionally, this 14-day breast cancer therapy had no effects on the growth, vitality, or behavior of the mice.

This is very interesting and potentially promising new breast cancer research.  While additional research will need to be conducted, especially human clinical trials, the possibility of a breast cancer therapy that specifically kills cancer cells without harming normal, non-malignant, cells is exciting.  While this new breast cancer therapy showed an impressive ability to prevent tumor formation, it will be important to determine if this breast cancer therapy can destroy existing breast cancer tumors, since breast cancer treatments are generally not given until after diagnosis of breast cancer.  You can download and read the full journal article HERE

While science keeps making impressive headway in breast cancer research, you can make simple choices each day to reduce your personal risk of breast cancer.  To learn more read my book Fight Now: Eat & Live Proactively Against Breast Cancer at
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