Research

Protein key to Breast Cancer Severity detected

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Australian research team led by Dr Clare Fedele and Professor Christina Mitchell at Monash University have identified a protein that could be key to assess the severity of breast cancer. The protein, inositol polyphosphate 4-phosphatase-II (INPP4B), has been known to exist in breast cancer tissue. But this team have discovered that the levels of this protein in tumours may be important in determining the severity of the disease.Dr Fedele said that we looked at a specific subtype of aggressive breast cancer and found that in about 90 per cent of these types of almost untreatable tumours, INPP4B was gone.According to scientists, the particular subtype of aggressive tumour doesn’t usually respond to treatments such as Tamoxifin, but due to correlation between the amount of INPP4B protein and the cancer means they can at least consider treatment alternatives.Dr Fedele said that recreating proteins is scientifically still a little way off, but we are a step closer to identifying how drugs could be designed to specifically target the pathway that is controlled by INPP4B.The researchers created an antibody to INPP4B, which works by specifically identifying the protein in biopsies from breast cancer patient samples.

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