Interleukin 25 produced by normal breast cells to kill cancer
Apr 27, 2011
In a new study published in Science Translational Medicine, scientists reveal that they have found that protein that naturally blocks breast cancer cells, according to Voice of America.
Among six other substances found, Interleukin 25 (IL-25) had the strongest effects against breast cancer. More importantly, IL-25 is produced naturally by the body's healthy breast cells.
IL-25 works by binding to a receptor that only appears on breast cells that have become cancerous. The receptor is aptly named IL-25 receptor.
When a breast tumor cell gets close enough to a normal cell, the normal cell kills the cancerous enemy. Due to the process specificity, this has large positive implications when it comes to potential side effects.
"[IL-25] has a tumor specificity that's very high, and therefore anything that goes to the clinic based on IL-25 will be very tumor-specific and have very low side effects. And that provides an enormous amount of hope for people who are undergoing therapy," Irene Kuhn, one of the researchers, told the source.
If this natural protection process occurs in the body, why does breast cancer exist? Scientists say that it is because the body does not produce enough IL-25 to fight all of the cancer cells. Thus, the production of IL-25 represents a significant area of potential research.