Combination breast cancer treatment targets tumour growth

Combining a cancer therapy, which activates a defective protein and is currently undergoing clinical trial, with a second drug therapy that helps suppress tumour blood vessels found in cancer cells, can help to significantly reduce the spread of breast cancer tumours while also causing cancer cell death.

This is the finding of new research by the University of Missouri, US.

According to the researchers, normal human cell tissues express a protein known as p53 that “wages war against potential malignancies”. However, between 30 and 40 per cent of human breast cancers express a “mutant” form of p53 that helps cancer cells grow.

In most breast cancer cases, a mutated p53 protein is present. Mutated p53 plays a key role in promoting tumour cells and aiding the development of blood vessels that supply the nutrients the tumour needs to grow.

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