Researchers Study Protein Signals to Tailor Breast Cancer Treatment

Scientists may be able to treat and diagnose breast cancer based on protein receptors.

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark published a study in the journal Molecular Cell that could change the way drugs and treatments are tailored to each individual patient. The researchers found that the cell's receptors serve as a switchboard that signals proteins to cellular functions.

"It was previously a huge challenge to analyze proteins – but today we can study thousands of proteins in a very short time," lead researcher Jesper Velgaard Olsen said in a statement . "The more we know about the body's transmission systems, the better we become at targeting medical treatment. Hopefully, we will in {the} future be able to offer customized treatment based on the individual patient's cellular profile."

The team studied the FGFR2b receptor on the cell's surface because it is expected to play a major role in health and disease. When a signal from the FGFR2b goes wrong, it can cause increased spreading of breast cancer. Being able to pin point where this binding site is gives scientists the opportunity to analyze the proteins and their biological influence. The investigation was confined to mouse tissue and human cancer cells, but it can open up doors in the future to help doctors be able to better diagnose and treat cancers.

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