A new study has just been published in Oncogene reporting the discovery by British scientists of a gene connected with the development and growth of a significant number of breast cancer cases. It is a gene located on chromosome 8 which is called NRG1 (neuregulin-1). It has been found efficacious in inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells.
Researchers assume that at birth we have a complete NRG1 gene; yet in more than 50 percent of all breast cancer patients parts of the gene are missing. So, once the gene gets damaged as we grow older, the chances of cancer tumor springing up and growing unchecked increase.
“I believe NRG1 could be the most important tumor suppresser gene discovery in the last 20 years,” lead researcher Paul Edwards comments. “It gives us vital information about a new mechanism that causes breast cancer.”
He went on to say that once this gene has been impaired its bearer runs a greater risk of contracting not only breast cancer, but other types of cancer afflicting bowels, bladder, prostate, ovaries, and colon.
Scientists believe that further investigations of the function of NRG1 may give rise to new strategies targeted at more successful cancer treatment.
Source of the image: flickr.com/photos/idhren.