A protein that is highly expressed in triple negative breast cancer cells has been discovered by researchers. Due to chemotherapy resistance and a high rate of relapse, triple negative cancers are among the most difficult breast cancers to treat.
Researchers led by Carlos Arteaga at Vanderbilt University made a mouse model of breast cancer, in which the protein both diverted cells down a path to becoming cancerous and allowed for cancer to come back after treatment.
Importantly, loss of the protein prevented tumor recurrence in mice.
These studies identify a mechanism by which cancer cells elude standard chemotherapy and provide a rationale for testing the therapeutic potential of agents that block the protein.
The study has been published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.