The identification of five genes involve in the metastasis of breast tumours to the lung is the principal finding of a scientific team from the University of Navarra the Applied Medical Research Centre (CIMA) and the University Hospital.
The research published in Oncogene was led by Doctor Alfonso Calvo at the CIMA his team used a transgenic mouse model which presented a greater tendency for developing metastasis . The increase in the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) in its mammary glands triggered profound changes in the tumoural structure which enabled the malignant cells to leave the tumour and invade the lungs.
The pattern of genes responsible for this tumoural migration to the lungs was analysed and this was compared to that shown by women with breast tumours with pulmonary metastatic affectation. It was shown that five of these genes were common to the animal model and patients with breast cancer.
According to the results of this study of the five genes identified the Tenascina-C gene seems to be a good therapeutic target for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. In fact the blocking of the expression of this gene in the animal model enabled a significant reduction both in tumour growth and in the incidence of pulmonary metastasis.
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