Can putting breast cancer to “sleep” be a promising approach to dominate it?

Could chemotherapy become obsolete in the treatment of breast cancer? If a new therapeutic approach tested on mice reveals itself to be as effective in human beings, it could perhaps replace chemotherapy in the treatment of certain aggressive breast cancer tumours.

Could chemotherapy become obsolete in the treatment of breast cancer? If a new therapeutic approach tested on mice reveals itself to be as effective in human beings, it could perhaps replace chemotherapy in the treatment of certain aggressive breast cancer tumours.

A group of researchers has discovered that the gene Id1 triggers certain forms of breast cancer. During experiments conducted on mice, they discovered that by stimulating this specific gene, they could induce cancerous tumours. Cancers that have high concentrations of this gene are highly aggressive and are also more susceptible of spreading to other organs in the body.

On the other hand, the mice that had a tumour in which the researchers genetically inactivated the Id1 gene were able to live much longer than the mice that retained continual expression of the Id1 gene. It would in fact seem that 40% of them were cured, and that their tumours simply regressed.

Consequently, these researchers believe that instead of attempting to kill cancerous cells, we could simply try to put them to sleep by inactivating certain genes that are responsible for the tumours. This would also allow the immune system to recover faster, and subsequently “devour” the cancer.

This clinical experiment undoubtedly opens very interesting new avenues of research that may one day lead to the improvement of treatments for breast cancer in humans. However, great efforts and patience will be required before we know with certainty if this innovative strategy can indeed be applied to humans. This is a story worth following!

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