Scientists Find Another Gene's Role In Breast Cancers Linked To Genetic Mutation

Sunday, December 9th 2007, 5:06 pm
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) -- New research may help scientists in their battle against breast cancer.

Researchers say they've discovered a major reason why women with a mutated version of a certain gene, BRCA1, run a high risk of developing the disease. A paper in the journal Nature Genetics says another gene, which normally inhibits cancer, is often broken in women with the mutated gene.

The scientists say that can lead to a chemical cascade that results in malignancy. A Columbia University researcher, who worked on the paper, says pharmaceutical companies have been testing drugs in animals that try to treat tumors by interrupting that cascade, and they've gotten some encouraging results.

Breast cancers associated with the mutated gene are generally aggressive and have a poor prognosis.