Prostate cancer drugs 'could help certain breast cancer patients'
28 June 2011 00:00 in Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs
Patients affected by certain types of breast cancer could potentially benefit from drugs that are currently specified for use against prostate cancer, according to new research.
Scientists from Cancer Research UK's Cambridge Research Institute have found that cancer cell growth in oestrogen-receptor-negative molecular apocrine tumours is triggered in part by androgen receptor activity.
This receptor is more typically linked with the development of prostate cancer and is therefore a target for many existing drugs, but this is the first time it has been linked to breast cancer.
Although more research is needed to understand the nature of this link, the discovery could potentially transform the treatment of a form of breast cancer that encompasses five percent of all cases.
Dr Lesley Walker, Cancer Research UK's director of cancer information, said: "We hope these findings will accelerate research to increase the range of therapies available for this group."
Earlier this month, the research group raised concerns that elderly breast cancer patients in Britain are less likely to receive surgery than younger people.
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