Canadian researchers have disclosed that suppression of an enzyme called PTP1B stalls the advancement of a specific type of breast cancer. This study was conducted on laboratory mice which were genetically modified to develop into a breast cancer condition of humans.
This research headed by Michel L.Tremblay along with Sophie Julien of McGill cancer Center, Quebec delayed the advancement of a particular kind of breast cancer linked to ERBB2 gene. In this case, the breast tumor appeared almost eight weeks later and lung metastases did not happen. In some mice cancer did not develop at all.
On the other hand, when the enzyme PTP1B was expressed it resulted in the development of cancer. Understanding of the relationship between this enzyme and breast cancer is likely to go a long way in treatment of this disease.
Clinical trials of a drug with inhibitory reaction to this protein are underway. There is already a research finding which claims that diabetes 2 and obesity can be treated by this enzyme suppression. In addition to this, PTP1B inhibitors have been developed by drug companies too.
Testing of this inhibitor on humans could begin by 2008. These inhibitors alone or along with another drug could be used in the treatment of breast cancer patients. Currently Herceptin or Trastuzumab is being used.
According to these scientists though there is lot of work to be done in this field, this finding is sure to have a positive impact on further research in this topic.