Study finds trigger that possibly spreads breast cancer
Jan 3, 2012
A new study conducted by researchers at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans found that a certain change in the body's defense system can increase the possibility of spreading breast cancer throughout the body.
The researchers discovered the cellular defense system, ISG15 pathway, is triggered in breast cancer, allowing the cancer cells to spread throughout the body. The ISG15 pathway is usually involved in fighting bacterial and viral infections.
"Our findings, for the first time, causally link an alteration in the ISG15 pathway during transformation with metastatic potential, thus providing a novel therapeutic target for future drug discover," said lead author Dr. Shyamal Desai, assistant professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the university.
According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during their lifetime. Not only is this disease the most common form of cancer among women behind skin cancer, but it is also the second leading cause of cancer-related death among women, following only lung cancer.