22 March 2018 | News
Discovery opens door to drugs that could stop breast cancer tumors from growing and spreading - potentially saving women's lives worldwide
Singapore – Scientists at the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI) have made a discovery that opens the door to a potentially game-changing way to stop breast cancer tumors from growing and spreading.
The researchers – Emma L. Kuan, PhD, and Steven F. Ziegler, PhD – pinpointed how a protein called thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) helps breast cancer tumors survive and grow. Even more significant, the researchers showed that blocking TSLP in model systems can significantly inhibit the growth of breast tumors and halt metastasis to the lungs. The study was published in the latest issue of Nature Immunology.
"Breast cancer becomes especially dangerous once it spreads to other parts of the body," Dr. Kuan says, "Our work suggests that blocking TSLP could prevent this from happening and potentially save the lives of women worldwide."
Clinical trials of this strategy could be launched for cancer patients in the relatively near future. A drug that blocks TSLP has already been developed, and initial trials have shown that it's safe in patients with asthma.