The Institute For Clinical Research In Montreal (IRCM) has publicly announced the results of over 20 years of research by Dr. Jean-François Côté in which he and his team have discovered a protein which, when targeted - could potentially block the metastasizing of cancerous cells in the breast.
When it remains localized, breast cancer is relatively treatable. It is only in the case where cancer cells are spread throughout the body - usually, via bloodstream - the dispersion of the cells then becomes extremely difficult to treat.
This is cancer type HER2 is considered the most deadly and causes 90% of cancer deaths. About1 in 5 women with breast cancer will reach this stage.
The breakthrough in research came when Dr. Côté's team discovered a unique protein which seemed to be responsible for the aggressive nature of this cancer. The protein is called AXL and it appears to accelerate the spread of cancerous cells.
So how does this discovery help treat the spread of this aggressive cancer? Well, if it this dangerous protein can be blocked, then, as a result, the spread of the cancerous cells can be blocked as well.
Experiments on lab mice confirm that blocking this protein seems to slow down the spread of cancerous cells. Therefore, the goal in this type of breast cancer treatment should be to thwart the creation of this dangerous protein.
The good news is that a drug to help control the development of this protein is now undergoing rigorous clinical trials.