Researchers make important finding in drug-resistant breast cancer
Providing women with breast cancer with a prescription to buy Tamoxifen is effective at preventing recurrence in the majority of cases. However, for some, the drug proves ineffective.
Providing women with breast cancer with a prescription to buy Tamoxifen is effective at preventing recurrence in the majority of cases. However, for some, the drug proves ineffective. A team of researchers may have identified a source of tumor growth that could lead to the development of new medications that effectively treat cancer in these women.
Investigators from the Georgia Health Sciences University found that one transporter molecule known as SLC6A14 is responsible for delivering the majority of cancer-fueling amino acids to tumor cells. Testing in lab mice showed that blocking this molecule caused growths to wither and die.
Since the transport system is used only by cancerous cells in the breast, the team believes that blocking it would have few side effects in the rest of the body. Unlike chemotherapy and radiation, which can damage healthy surrounding tissue, any medications developed from this discovery would be far more targeted.
The findings are still in an early stage and it could be years before the knowledge can be leveraged into new treatments. Still, the researchers believe this is a promising field of investigation that could eventually provide powerful new tools to fight breast cancer.