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Scientists identify novel breast cancer gene

London, January 9: British researchers have identified a novel gene that is especially active in a difficult–to–treat form of breast cancer and could thereby help in the search for new treatments. “Our understanding of genes that drive stem cell development led us to search for consequences when these genes go wrong. BCL11A activity stood out because it is so active in triple–negative cancers. It had all the hallmarks of a novel breast cancer gene,” said Pentao Liu, senior study author from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. After combing through 3,000 patients with breast cancer, the team from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute found that the overactive BCL11A gene drives the development and progression of “triple–negative” breast cancer. The research that appeared in the jourl ture Communications and was conducted in mice as well as human cells provided new routes to explore targeted treatments for this aggressive tumour type. There are many types of breast cancers that respond differently to treatments and have different prognoses. Higher activity of the BCL11A gene was found in approximately eight out of 10 patients with basal–like breast cancer and was associated with a more advanced grade of tumour. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita

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