Scientists have made a new discovery, which may become a new weapon in fight against breast cancer.
For the first time, researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center have shown that a peptide found in blood and tissue inhibits the growth of human breast tumors in mice.
Patricia E. Gallagher and E. Ann Tallant demonstrated that the peptide angiotensin-(1-7) attacked breast cancer in two ways: by inhibiting the growth of the breast cancer cells themselves and by inhibiting the growth of cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), cells found in the tumor microenvironment-the tissue surrounding the tumor.
In this study, mice were injected with human breast cancer cells to form the two most common types of breast tumors - estrogen-receptor and HER2 sensitive.
Once the tumors grew, the mice were injected with either angiotensin-(1-7) or saline for 18 days. In the mice treated with angiotensin-(1-7), there was a 40 percent reduction in tumor size as compared to the saline-injected mice.
Breast tumor fibrosis also was reduced by 64 to 75 percent in the mice treated with the peptide as compared to the saline-injected mice.
The finding has been recently published in the journal Cancer Research.