Expert Matthew Burow Gauging means to fight breast cancer seems to have taken the center stage in the health world. Just recently an investigation shed light on an indirect path for attacking breast cancer, and here is another way to fight this dreadful disease. Scientists from the Tulane University School of Medicine and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine claim that targeting the cell receptor CXCR4 and an associated protein molecule can help tackle resistance towards cancer drugs and restrict tumor cells from spreading all over the body.

The currently designed breast cancer therapies may focus on employing ‘blockers’ for avoiding estrogen to cancer cells. Around 20-30 percent patients apparently develop resistance to these blockers and tumors continue to grow. In order to understand the reason behind the formation of this resistance, experts thoroughly assayed samples gathered from breast cancer patients. In the later stages, cancer is probably not dependent on estrogen, but seeks aid from a unique set of proteins that are linked to the CXCR4 receptor. As the cancer is no more fed by hormones, but a receptor, anti-estrogen drugs are seemingly unable to block them.

Matthew Burow, associate professor of medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine, shared, “We found that the presence of another receptor, CXCR4, is associated with poor prognoses and decreased long term survival. We looked at this receptor and were able to show that it bypasses the estrogen receptor.”

When the expression of CXCR4 is in an active form, it presumably heightens the growth rate and metastatic capacity of the breast cancer cells. Hence, targeting this receptor for determining potential cancer drugs can help in the battle against breast cancer. It was concluded that CXCR4 on the membranes of cells and a protein molecule binding with it create resistance towards estrogen hormone therapy and enable cancer cells to metastasize, or spread throughout the body.

The research is published in the journal Cancer Research.