New link between estrogen and breast cancer

Aug 24, 2007

The female sex hormone estrogen turns on a gene linked to breast cancer, according to new research by Brisbane scientists.

The cancer biology team from UQ's Diamantina Institute for Cancer, Immunology and Metabolic Medicine, believe their finding will help explain the link between breast cancer and high levels of estrogen.

“What we've shown is that the ability of estrogen to switch this gene on is important for the growth of breast cancer cells,” Diamantina cancer biology research leader Professor Tom Gonda said.

The gene they studied, known as MYB, is found in about 70 percent of all breast cancers and is one of several dozen genes called oncogenes that promote cancer growth.

“What's important in breast cancer is the ability of estrogen to turn on MYB rather than there being a mutation in the gene itself,” Professor Gonda said.

He said the next step was to take the results, which come from isolated cancer cells grown in the laboratory, and test them in laboratory mice that are a better model for human patients.

“We're trying to show directly that MYB can induce cancerous changes in normal breast cells.”

Professor Gonda and his colleagues at UQ worked with researchers in Melbourne, Adelaide and the United States and published their findings this month in the prestigious scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

He said a drug that blocks the action of MYB might be used to treat breast cancer in the future but he warned that would take many years of hard work.

Source: Research Australia

Explore further: US OKs first-ever DNA alternative to Pap smear (Update 2)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New cancer gene discovered

Oct 13, 2009

A new cancer gene has been discovered by a research group at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. The gene causes an insidious form of glandular cancer usually in the head and neck and in women ...

Recommended for you

US OKs first-ever DNA alternative to Pap smear (Update 2)

12 hours ago

U.S. government health regulators have cleared a genetic test from Roche as a first-choice screening option for cervical cancer. It was a role previously reserved for the Pap smear, the decades-old mainstay of women's health.

New breast cancer imaging method promising

18 hours ago

The new PAMmography method for imaging breast cancer developed by the University of Twente's MIRA research institute and the Medisch Spectrum Twente hospital appears to be a promising new method that could ...

Palliation is rarely a topic in studies on advanced cancer

18 hours ago

End-of-life aspects, the corresponding terminology, and the relevance of palliation in advanced cancer are often not considered in publications on randomized controlled trials (RCTs). This is the result of an analysis by ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Google+ boss leaving the company

The executive credited with bringing the Google+ social network to life is leaving the Internet colossus after playing a key role there for nearly eight years.