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Markers for breast cancer progression

Mar. 9, 2021, 8:00 AM

by Sarah E. Glass

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is characterized by a lack of three receptors that are targeted in other breast cancers to reduce tumor growth. The lack of clinically actionable targets for TNBC highlights a need for markers that can be modulated for favorable outcomes. 

Qiuyin Cai, MD, PhD, and colleagues have identified a biomarker that impacts not only TNBC, but multiple breast cancer types.  

Reporting in Carcinogenesis, the researchers show that miR-374b, a microRNA that is positively correlated with TNBC patient survival, had low levels in breast cancer tissues compared to adjacent normal tissues. Lower expression of miR-374b was correlated with higher expression of CCND1 and TGFA genes. Increasing miR-374b or decreasing CCND1 or TGFA levels decreased tumor cell proliferation in vitro and stunted tumor growth in vivo 

This study clarifies the mechanism by which miR-374b inhibits cancer progression, broadening possibilities for a widely applicable treatment for breast cancer, including TNBC.

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grants CA118229, CA098131, CA160056).

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