`Genetic switch` in breast cancer identified
Melbourne – Scientists have uncovered a genetic “switch” which indicates whether a woman’s breast cancer is aggressive and likely to spread.
The discovery by teams from QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and the Institute of Molecular Bioscience may provide a clearer prognosis for breast cancer patients and pave the way for new treatments, News.com.au reported.
Dr Nicole Cloonan, who has found a particular RNA (Ribonucleic acid) molecule, said that essentially, this particular gene fragment, or microRNA, normally acts like an emergency brake in our genetic program, ensuring our cells continue to reproduce normally.
However, he said that they have identified that this “emergency brake” fails in invasive, aggressive tumours, and its sudden absence in cancer tests would be a clear marker that a tumour is likely to spread.