By: Julia Naftulin
- Researchers from Princeton University discovered a new breast cancer treatment method that could stop the spread of an especially aggressive form of the disease called triple-negative breast cancer.
- The new method uses a naturally occurring protein called Tingal1 to block the passageways in which triple-negative breast cancer could spread to other areas of the body.
- Triple-negative breast cancer is more aggressive than other forms of breast cancer because it doesn’t respond to many of the existing treatment forms currently available.
“People have tried to block the spread of this form of cancer but attempts so far have failed because if you try one approach, the cancer cells compensate by finding a way to escape,” Yibin Kang, senior author of the study, said in a press release.
The new method, which is still in its experimental phase, uses a protein called Tinagl1 that exists naturally in the body. This specific protein blocks the passageways through which triple-negative breast cancer can spread, so it solves the problem Kang mentioned.
To determine if this method could be effective for treatment, the researchers looked at triple-negative breast cancer patients in different stages of the disease and found that people who had more of the Tinagl1 gene were in the earlier stages of breast cancer, while people with less of the gene were further along in the spread of the disease.
Triple-negative breast cancer is harder to treat than other forms of the disease, but these new findings could help
Triple-negative breast cancer has a high rate of recurrence and is very hard to treat, according to BreastCancer.org, so this new research could offer people with the disease more treatment options.
That’s because triple-negative breast cancer doesn’t contain the hormones other types of breast cancers do, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since the majority of breast cancer treatment options target hormones like estrogen and progesterone that don’t present in triple-negative breast cancer, these methods won’t help someone with this form of the disease.
Currently, mastectomy, lumpectomy, and chemotherapy are the top treatment options for triple-negative breast cancer, according to the CDC. These methods, however, don’t ensure the cancer won’t come back in the future, which happens often with triple-negative breast cancer.
Triple-negative breast cancer affects between 10% and 20% of people with breast cancer, according to BreastCancer.org, so this new treatment method could help people slow the spread of the disease and increase their quality of life. According to a press release on the study, this new information has forged a path for more research on potential treatments.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.