Genetic switch that has the potential to open up new treatments for breast cancer has been discovered by scientists. Researchers from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney found the molecule, known as ELF5, which can turn genes on or off.
By manipulating the molecule, the breast cancer cell's sensitivity to anti-oestrogen drugs used to treat breast cancer could be increased, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Oestrogen plays a key role in the breast cancers. Women, who do not experience much oestrogen, either, because they start menstruating later in life or begin menopause early, have a lower risk of having breast cancer.
Led by Professor Ormandy in collaboration with colleagues Maria Kalyga and David Gallego-Ortega, the finding established for the first time that there is a relation between the molecule and breast cancer.
The latest discovery made in collaboration with British researchers, raises the potential for drugs designed to reduce the amount of the molecule in those cancer cells dependent on ELF5 for proliferation.
The study has been outlined in the journal PLOS Biology.