In a major breakthrough in the treatment of breast cancer, researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) have discovered that blocking of an enzyme could prevent the spread of the cancer.
The researchers identified the enzyme, lysyl oxidase-like 2 (LOXL2), to be responsible of spreading the cancer through two proteins, TIMP1 and MMP9. The enzyme was also responsible for spreading the cancer cells past the breast tissue and into other parts of the body.
Conducting various tests, the researchers showed that blocking of the enzyme could halt the spread of the cancer across the body and increase the effectiveness of treating breast cancer.
Writing in their report, published in the journal Cancer Research, that more than 90 percent of breast cancer deaths occurred due to the spread of cancer cells, lead researcher, Dr Janine Erler said "Our study shows that inhibiting the action of LOXL2 can significantly reduce the spread of breast cancer, suggesting that drugs which block this enzyme may be effective in preventing patients' cancer from spreading."