Keep your friends close and your enemies closer – Researchers from Cambridge University and The Wellcome Trusts’s Sanger Institute announced that they have discovered new a gene that’s active in 8 out 10 patients with triple negative breast cancer.
Triple negative is considered the most aggressive type of breast cancer today as it does not respond to conventional hormonal treatments given to other types of breast cancers. Women in their late 20s and early 30s are more likely to get this type of disease. Only 77% of patients with triple negative are expected to live beyond 5 years as compared to the 90% survivorship of other types of breast cancer.
The study also revealed BCL11 has a lot to do with the aggressiveness of the cells, making them more prone to resisting treatment and metastasizing. Further research also has to be done to find out if they also play a role in causing breast cancer.
The discovery of the BCL11 gene brings new light into the management of triple negative patients. Now that we know it exists, medication and therapies can now be tailored according to its unique molecular structure. Breast cancer advocates have high hopes about the possibilities that this discovery will bring but are realistic about the fact that it can take a few more years before a solid medical and therapeutic regimen can be put in place.
Even then, any discovery that may lead to the successful treatment of breast cancer is good news. For more information on triple negative breast cancer, head on to the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation.