Breakthrough that could help stop breast cancer spreading

Thousands of lives could be saved as scientists have discovered an enzyme that causes breast cancer tumour cells to spread.

Around 90% of all breast cancer deaths are caused by the disease spreading to other parts of the body, such as the lungs, liver and bone. The Institute of Cancer Research are now looking at ways to block the action of the enzyme, leading to new treatments being developed and new tests to be introduced.

This breakthrough, according to Holly Barker, a postdoctoral researcher, ‘…raises the possibility that we could develop a test to predict patients who will develop aggressive disease. It could help us tailor treatment type and intensity to individual patients.’

Over 12,000 women a year die of breast cancer and around 47,000 new cases are diagnosed annually. Recent studies have shown around 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer.

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