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Wednesday, 30 March 2005 18:07
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
Breakthrough in breast cancer blocking protein
Researchers at Ireland's Royal College of Surgeons have made a major breakthrough in breast cancer research which could potentially increase the lifespan of a sufferer by 30 per cent.

Dr Judith Harmey of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) said that researchers had taken a successful step with the development of novel protein capable of blocking the breast cancer growth factor.

"It has been shown in a pre-clinical model that it can inhibit breast tumour growth, increase survival by 30 per cent and reduce secondary growths in bones," Dr Harmey said.

"The secondary growth in bone is what kills the majority of people”.

Dr Harmey added there was a considerable amount of work to be done and it would be three or four years before the research could potentially be used on people with breast cancer.

"We are absolutely delighted, it has worked better than ever expected," she said. "Possibly in the future (it will be used), it is some way down the line, we have to make it in pharmaceutical form and check for toxicity”.

Ed Yong, science information officer at Cancer Research UK, said it was too early to know if the protein's potential would be realised.

"These findings are very preliminary but are certainly promising. More research is needed to determine if this new protein has a future as a cancer treatment.

"And it will eventually have to undergo rigorous clinical trials in humans.

"Cancer Research UK is supporting studies aimed at finding similar agents, which can block the development of a tumour's blood vessels.
"These molecules effectively starve tumours, making them a potentially powerful way of treating cancers”.


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