Scientists reduce risk of breast cancer spreading

22 February 2011

Researchers in the UK believe they have discovered an enzyme which could hold the key to the spread of breast cancer.

It is hoped that chemical treatments used to block the LOXL2 enzyme will prevent metastasis, resulting in extremely effective breast cancer treatments.

The experts, from the UK's Institute of Cancer Research, claimed that the efficacy of enzyme blocking offers new hope for specially designed protein blockers in the treatment of cancer.

Writing in the journal Cancer Research, they claimed that despite the research being conducted on mice, drug treatments that work by blocking specific enzymes could be used in a clinical setting very soon.

They claimed that since 90 per cent of cancer patient mortality is down to metastasis, the treatment could offer plenty of hope to sufferers.

They concluded: "Our findings highlight the importance of LOXL2 in breast cancer progression and support the development of anti-LOXL2 therapeutics for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer."

1 Barker, Holly et al. "LOXL2-mediated matrix remodelling in metastasis and mammary gland involution". Cancer Research. Tuesday, February 15th 2011.

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