Friday, March 14, 2008

Bullseye on Breast Cancer!

Breast cancer 'master gene' breakthrough

By Roger Highfield, Science Editor
Last Updated: 6:01pm GMT 12/03/2008

Thousands of women who suffer from breast cancer were
today given fresh hope after scientists announced they had
discovered a way to stop the disease spreading.

  • Researchers find breast cancer trigger
  • Scraps stop breast cancer in its tracks
  • Aspirin 'can cut breast cancer risk by 20pc'
  • The breakthrough paves the way for the development of
    drugs which could halt the progress of the disease and help
    save the lives of some of the 44,000 women diagnosed
    with the illness every year.

    SATB1 forms a three-dimensional cage-like structure within the cell nucleus (left) that binds to DNA specific sites within genes, reorganizes chromatin, and recruits enzymes that promote the expression or suppression of genes (right)
    SATB1 forms a 3D cage-like structure within the cell nucleus (left) that binds to DNA specific sites in genes

    The most deadly feature of breast cancer is when it
    disperses from the breast, causing tumours to develop
    in other parts of the body.

    But now researchers say they have found a way of
    stopping this process, known as metastasis, after
    pinpointing the gene which controls the spread of the cancer.

    By removing this gene from cancer cells the
    American teams of scientists were able to halt
    its progress and even turned the cancer cell back to normal.

    The gene, called SATB1, is thought to control the
    use of around 1000 others to promote the spread,
    says Dr Terumi Kohwi-Shigematsu of the Lawrence
    Berkeley National Laboratory, California, whose r
    esearch is published in the journal Nature today.

    Simply Awesome!

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