Breast cancer research identifies ZNF703 gene
In this breast cancer update, researchers have found a major breast cancer causing gene called the ZNF703. ZNF703 is one of the first genes discovered to play a key role in aggressive breast cancers. This “oncogene” is the first to be found in the last five years.It causes an aggressive form of breast cancer and is an overactive gene in one of 12 breast cancers.
Scientists believe that this ZNF703 gene should be identified as a target for new drug treatment therapies.
Her2 is another oncogene which was discovered by scientists during breast cancer research earlier on. After the identification of Her2, the breast cancer drug Herceptic was created to eliminate Her2 gene breast cancers.
An oncogene in healthy cells causes cell division. However, if it becomes unbalanced and overactive, it will create havoc with the cell division process.
Scientists studied gene activity both breast cancer cells grown in a lab and 1,172 breast tumor samples. By a process of elimination of genes in the tumor samples, only the ZNF703 gene was left within the breast cancer cells which remained overactive. In breast cancer patients, ZNF703 was the only overactive gene that was driving the breast cancer.
Researchers at the British Columbia Cancer Agency in Vancouver, Canada and the Cambridge Research Institute in Britain did the research. This research was published in the EMBO website at embomolmed.org.
It is hoped that this discovery of the oncogene ZNF703 will lead to better breast cancer treatments in the future to treat cancers that are resistant to standard hormone therapies.
Dr Rachel Greig, of Breakthrough Breast Cancer said the research was “a vital step in understanding the genes that drive the growth of some types of breast cancer”.