New Breast Cancer Biomarker Identified

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Researchers found a new protein that can help determine the outcome of a breast cancer diagnosis.

Research published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology reported on a newly identified biomarker that can help predict breast cancer outcomes. According to the American Society for Microbiology, a protein named p66ShcA is the biomarker that identifies breast cancers with poor prognoses and may aid doctors in determining the types of treatments to use on patients.

It isn't uncommon for breast cancer to spread, even before it is discovered. The spreading of cancer is also known as metastasis, and a process called epithelial to mesenchymal transition aids this step. When cancer metastasizes, the epithelial cells come into contact with mesenchymal cells and allow the cancer to move to other organs and tissues in the body. 

"We showed that elevated p66ShcA expression levels are strongly associated with expression of numerous epithelial to mesenchymal transition genes in all breast cancer subtypes," Josie Ursini-Siegel of McGill University said in a statement. "Thus, p66ShcA may serve as one of the first prognostic biomarkers to identify poor outcome breasts cancers regardless of their molecular subtype."

Doctors need to be able to predict the prognosis of breast cancer patient in order to better manage their treatment. If the illness is not very advanced, then a less aggressive treatment can be prescribed and vice versa.

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