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Fibroblast Growth Factors, Tamoxifen Resistance & Breast Cancer

Posted Feb 25 2010 7:12am
Research has shown that a variety of growth factors are associated with the development and progression of breast cancer.  A new research study has reported that one particular growth factor receptor might play an important role in tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer patients.

In this new breast cancer research study , investigators examined the impact of fibroblast growth factor receptor 1(FGFR1) on breast cancer cell growth and resistance to tamoxifen treatment.  This growth factor receptor has been known to be over-expressed in about 10% of breast cancers and this over-expression is associated with poorer outcomes.  However, it has been unclear whether this growth factor receptor was the cause of these poor outcomes.  Examination of breast cancer cell lines in culture showed that breast cancer cells that over-express FGFR1 require this receptor pathway for cell growth.  Even more interesting is that breast cancer cells over producing this receptor were resistant to tamoxifen treatment.  When this receptor was shut off, the resistance of breast cancer cells to tamoxifen treatment was reversed, making the cells susceptible to tamoxifen treatment.

This is an interesting breast cancer discovery with important implications for future breast cancer therapy.  These initial results indicate that this growth factor receptor might be the driving force behind the tamoxifen resistance of some breast cancers.  New breast cancer therapies designed to shut down the over-expression of this growth factor receptor have the potential to reduce tamoxifen resistance and increase the ability of tamoxifen and perhaps other hormone therapies to fight breast cancer recurrence, leading to improved outcomes.

Discoveries like this are the cornerstone of our understanding of breast cancer and breast cancer treatment.  However, it is also important to remember that there are things we can all do to reduce the risk of getting breast cancer at all.  To learn more, read Fight Now: Eat & Live Proactively Against Breast Cancer at www.fightBCnow.com .
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