Friday, 27 December 2013

Study: Low Oxygen Conditions Raise Risk of Spreading Breast Cancer

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found out that low oxygen conditions often inside tumors have the ability to turn rigid and stable breast cancer tumors into mobile ones and therefore promoting their spread.

Read more about the research finding.

The discovery explained a previously known phenomenon which is that RhoA and ROCK1 were known to worsen conditions of breast cancer by enabling tumor cells to move but the reason behind their production was not known, according to Gregg Semenza, MD, PhD, the C. Michael Armstrong Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and senior author of the article.

He emphasizes: "We now know that the production of these proteins increases dramatically when breast cancer cells are exposed to low oxygen conditions."

What are the future implications outside the lab tests?

Daniele Gilkes, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow and lead author of the report, states, "Now that we understand the mechanism at play, we hope that clinical trials will be performed to test whether drugs that inhibit hypoxia-inducible factors will have the double effect of blocking production of RhoA and ROCK1 and preventing metastases in women with breast cancer."

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