Scientists have identified proteins in the healthy breast tissue that can kill cancer cells naturally. These laboratory findings may pave the way for new treatments for breast cancer and possibly for other cancers as well.
The effort began with the discovery in the laboratory showed that when breast cancer cells mixed with material from the surrounding normal cells, cancer cells stop growing or die.
Irene Kuhn of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California are members of the team that conduct research in the laboratory scientist Mina Bissell Iranian-American. "Our initial observations are very interesting, that something is produced in normal cells capable of killing cancer cells. So we decided to follow it up." He said.
Kuhn said that when normal cells mutate and become tumor cells. He further said, "The cells, for whatever reason we do not know, increase IL-25 receptor."
Receptor is a structure which pairs and bound with IL-25 protein. Kuhn said that "If the tumor cells that happened to be near normal breast cells. Tumor cells would be exposed to IL-25 produced by human breast cells, and cells would be killed."
Because IL-25 receptor occurs only in tumor cells, IL-25 attack only tumor cells, not normal cells.
So if IL-25 powerful to kill breast cancer cells, why do people affected by breast cancer? The short answer is: not enough IL-25. And this suggests that IL-25 may need to be investigated as a treatment for breast cancer.
Kuhn said the treatment based on natural anti-cancer compound in IL-25 can bring substantial benefits in addition to conventional therapy. He said, "specialty in tumors is very high, so that all who enter the clinics based on IL-25 will be very specific to the tumor and has little side effects. And it gives great hope for people who are undergoing therapy."
This study specifically for breast cancer, but Irene Kuhn said they also identified IL-25 receptor on melanoma cells, indicating that IL-25 may be studied as a treatment of skin cancer, and possibly other cancers.
The study of IL-25 and breast cancer is published in the journal "Science Translational Medicine."
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