British scientists are close to a ‘potential cure’ for most breast cancer cases. They have developed a way to stop tumours growing and spreading, which could save millions of lives every year.
Researchers say the new technique could be used to produce a drug to tackle the disease in as little as two years. Breast cancer kills 12,000 British women every year, more than a quarter of those diagnosed with it.
Scientists have previously focused on how to prevent tumours from forming, but the new research has found key molecules called microRNAs which the cancer manipulates to spread around the body.
Breast cancer cells ‘switch off’ these molecules, allowing the cancer to spread unchecked to other parts of the body.
This spread is responsible for 90 per cent of deaths from breast cancer and the team which made the breakthrough is working on a drug to stop this fatal process. One of the scientists, Dr Justin Stebbing, senior lecturer and consultant medical oncologist at Imperial College, London, said: ‘This is a potential cure for breast cancer. There are no drugs as yet but they should be available in a couple of years.
‘This is a step on the way to it. It helps us understand the way breast cancer cells grow and divide. If we understand this, we understand how to stop it.’
The researchers from Imperial College and James Watson Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories in New York found the role of the female hormone oestrogen in the spread of cancer was key.
Of the 45,500 women diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK every year, around two thirds are oestrogen positive. This means the cancer cells rely on it to grow.
The tiny microRNA molecules control oestrogen activity but in breast cancer cells they are switched off, allowing oestrogen to fuel the cancer spread. Thus stopping this ‘switching off ‘ process permanently could halt the cancer altogether, the scientists claim. Dr Stebbing said that is the reason women on so-called wonder drugs such as Tamoxifen, which blocks oestrogen, see impressive results at first – but around half of them relapse.
‘The way to cure breast cancer or any cancer is by fundamental understanding of what turns cells on and off, stopping the way tumours grow’, he said. ‘We can use these microRNAs as a new treatment and make them do what current drugs don’t do. This only applies in oestrogen positive breast cancer but this could save millions of lives.’
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers.
This story above was from August 2009. Here we are “a couple of years” later in August 2012 … so where’s the cure? Did they intend to say ‘a couple of lightyears’, perhaps?
What are the current safest most effective treatments for breast cancer?
Here are some things you should know and do:
- Lower stress and depression. Stress fuels breast cancer metastasis to bone. Natural beta blockers are: Passion flower (consult a doctor), Chamomile (green) tea, L-arginine amino acid (consult a doctor), pomegranate juice. Meditate daily. Get enough sleep.Exercise early in the day, not at night. Keep a regular schedule.
- Get your breasts out in the sun. With vitamin D from the sun, “breast tissues produce their own cancer-fighting compound (calcitriol) that destroys breast cancer tumors”.
- View cancer not as a disease caused by mutation, but as a survival mechanism in response to an attack. The body’s cancer defense is related to inflammation and is a last attempt to survive after the rest of the immune system fails. The body creates cancer cells, keeps them alive and helps them spread for a reason. They keep deadly substances away from the lymph, blood, heart, brain and other vital organs. If the defense works, the cancer vanishes naturally. Now that you know this, it is clear that you must remove whatever is causing your body’s cancer defense reaction. In this polluted world, that can be a challenge, but you CAN do it. Not everything causes cancer. Give up alcohol and smoking for a start.