Promising results from new research could help fight an aggressive form of breast cancer

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Aggressive forms of breast cancer, such as triple-negative breast cancer, can be difficult to survive if not caught early.

But now we’re learning about two new findings that may help improve the odds of triple negative and other forms of breast cancer.

Eyewitness News spoke to Lynette Dawson. Her battle with breast cancer began in July 2018.

“The doctors examined both of my breasts and felt a lump on my left side,” Dawson said.

She was diagnosed with HER-2 cancer, a form that is hormonally related.

It responded to surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, but other types, such as triple-negative breast cancer, have no hormone receptors and are very difficult to treat.

Professor Ratna Vadlmudi, a researcher at UT Health San Antonio, explained the stark statistics when it comes to triple negative breast cancer.

“I think if it’s a second or third grade, 50% of them won’t survive within five years,” Vadlmudi said.

Vadlmudi and his team tested 30,000 genes to find one that stops triple negatives.

“What we found is that ERX-41 binds to a new therapeutic target, which is LipA,” he said.

Once ERX-41 binds to the LipA gene, the cancer recognizes defective cells and dies.

“It’s like a rocket that goes off and finds its target,” said Vadlamudi.

This is an important finding for women fighting aggressive forms of breast cancer.

Another research discovery is helping scientists understand metastases.

“Many women with HER2-positive breast cancer develop brain metastases during the course of their metastatic disease,” said Dr. Sara Hurvitz of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Metastases occur when circulating cancer cells detach from the original tumor and migrate via blood vessels.

Until now, doctors thought that this happened around the clock.

Now Swiss researchers have discovered that cells mainly disintegrate during sleep and tend to divide faster than those that escape during the day.

Researchers say this knowledge could help guide timing of treatment and open the doors to finding ways to control the cells that are leaking out.

Both of these new findings will help breast cancer patients like Dawson and potentially lead to treatments for other types of cancer.

When it comes to ERX-41, animal researchers say it beat cancer in 60 days.

The compound is likely effective against other deadly cancers such as pancreatic, ovarian and glioblastoma.

Researchers expect human clinical trials to begin next year.

Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved. Promising results from new research could help fight an aggressive form of breast cancer

Laura Coffey

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