Researchers find drugs against secondary tumors in the lungs

As of March 13, 2023, 5:00 p.m

After developing breast cancer, there is a risk that the cancer can “wake up” again decades later and spread to other parts of the body. British researchers have found the reason for this: the protein PDGF-C.

The experts from the Londoner Institute of Cancer Research discovered that PDGF-C, particularly present in the lungs, plays an important role in ‘waking up’ an inactive cancer. When levels of the protein increase, as in aging lungs or in scarring tissue, it can cause the dormant cancer to grow cells again and develop what is known as secondary breast cancer — which can spread to other parts of the body.

The researchers then investigated whether suppressing the protein could prevent the cancer from “waking up” again. Experiments with mice suffering from estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer (the most common type of breast cancer) showed that tumor formation could be significantly reduced by administering the cancer drug imatinib. The protein-blocking imatinib has previously been used in the treatment of myeloid leukemia.

“This is an important step towards a better understanding of advanced breast cancer and how and why breast cancer cells form secondary tumors, for example in the lungs,” explains Prof. Clare Isacke from the Institute of Cancer Research. Next, it would have to be investigated when exactly these changes occur as the body ages and what differences there are in the various groups of people in order to be able to develop suitable forms of therapy. The experts hope to be able to display these “ticking time bombs” in the body in the future.

This topic in the program:MDR TELEVISION | The main thing is healthy | February 02, 2023 | 9:00 p.m

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