In a study published today in the international journal, Cancer Research a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, investigators at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute (the La Trobe University School of Cancer Medicine) have shown that when the protein bone morphogenetic protein-4 (BMP4) is switched off, breast cancer can become more aggressive. BMP4 is active during fetal development and is maintained during adulthood in some healthy organs, including the breast.
In this study, led by investigators Dr Bedrich Eckhardt (a Susan G Komen Postdoctoral Fellow) and Prof Robin Anderson (Head of the Translational Breast Cancer Program), it was hypothesised that restoring BMP4 activity would block the ability of breast tumours to metastasise.
Core - Study - Levels - BMP4 - Protein
"At its core, this study has demonstrated that high levels of the BMP4 protein in breast cancer patients is associated with better outcome, linked to a reduction in metastatic breast cancer," said Prof Anderson. "This is an exciting finding as there has been no reduction in the rates of mortality for people with metastatic breast cancer for over 20 years."
This translational research study revealed that levels of the BMP4 protein are often reduced in late stage breast cancer. But when BMP4 levels were restored in...
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