Broken embryos 'could be leading to breast cancer development'

8 February 2012

Chemotherapy for breast cancer treatment could be advanced in the near future, following an innovative study undertaken by a group of scientists.

Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies may have established a breakthrough regarding the deadly disease, by using a theory first established in the 1800s.

It has widely been touted that the development of cancers in the body is linked to how organs grow in the normal embryo.

Now, Salk Institute for Biological Studies scientists have studied such a theory in mice, with the results possibly establishing ways for medical professionals to better predict and personalise the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

Lead researcher Geoffrey Wahl, a professor in Salk's Gene Expression Laboratory, pointed out that healthy embryos contain a "GPS System" which allows it to be tracked around an organ.

However, he commented: "Our findings tell us that this GPS system is broken during cancer development, and that may explain why we detect stem-like cells in breast cancers."

The study, which was published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, comes soon after Cardiff University and King's College London researchers suggested that zinc can help in the fight against aggressive breast cancer.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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