Major medical breakthrough achieved in the treatment of breast cancer
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women. The risk of dying from breast cancer is greater if the disease has already spread. Researchers have now developed a new technique that can reliably predict whether breast cancer will spread to the lungs of those affected.
In their current investigation, scientists from the Medical Research Council (MRC) and King’s College London found that a new imaging technique is able to predict whether primary breast cancer will spread to the lungs of those affected. The doctors released a press release on the results of their study.
In the future, more people with breast cancer could be saved
Almost 54,000 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in the UK in 2013 alone. In 2014, around 11,400 people died of the disease there. The experts now hope that the new medical breakthrough will result in more lives being saved in the future.
New technology was tested in experiments on mice
Scientists have now developed an innovative imaging technique that can predict whether the disease will spread to the lungs. The new non-invasive imaging method was tested on mice during the study. It was examined whether this technique can be used to detect changes in the lungs, which can indicate spreading breast cancer, even before the first metastases are visible, the doctors explain.
Test allows you to choose the most effective treatment
If this form of technology were released for human use, this approach could allow patients to be offered more intensive therapy earlier to potentially prevent the spread of breast cancer, the authors say. By combining cell biology and imaging, we have created a method of predicting early tumor development that can determine whether the tumor will spread to the lungs, the experts explain. Developing a test that would be able to identify an increased risk of metastases once a patient is diagnosed with breast cancer would be very useful in choosing the best treatment, the scientists add.
What is angiogenesis?
Previous research had shown that the detection of a specific type of immune cell in places such as the human lungs is a good basis for determining the spread of breast cancer metastases. This is because when the local immune system is suppressed, it promotes the formation of new blood vessels, the experts explain. This process is also called angiogenesis. The special immune cells are called myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC).
New discovery is critical to breast cancer treatment
Researchers at King’s College London have developed a radioactive molecule that can identify myeloid-derived suppressor cells that accumulate in the lungs and prepare for the arrival of breast cancer cells and the formation of metastases. Of course, more research is needed before the new technology can be tested on human patients. However, the discovery of ways to combat the spread of breast cancer is crucial if we want to prevent further deaths from the disease, the scientists say. Ultimately, anything that could give patients and their doctors a clearer picture of whether existing breast cancer will spread will help with treatment and prevent the possible spread.
More studies are needed
The new technology avoids the inconvenience of current invasive tests. The experts also have the potential to have a major impact on cancer treatment and improve results. Further studies are now needed to develop an effective molecule that is suitable for humans. (as)