Once the breast cancer spreads throughout the body, it can degrade the patient’s healthy bones and cause more problem. Scientist in the University of Utah discovered that the bones can be destroyed by cancer. They also discovered a new drug that could prevent this from happening. Initial test given to patients show promising results.
Alana Welm, PhD, an investigator at HCI and associate professor of oncological sciences at the University of Utah, led the study. Their study was published today in the Science Translational Medicine. Forty thousand people die because of breast cancer annually. Specially to cases wherein the disease spreads to the other parts of the body it becomes more fatal. And approximately 75 percent of the disease goes to the bones and damages it.
Welm explains that when breast cancer gets to the bone the effect is severe, it is like osteoporosis but to a more extent rate that the bones get eaten by the cancer. Patients could literally have holes in their bones. This leads to fractures and pain for the patient. If the cancer reaches the spinal cord it could cause spinal cord compression.
To study the process Wlem and her team used a mouse by inserting breast cancer cells into its bones. The mouse experience stern degradation of bones which is supposed to be rare in mice. Welm discovered that certain breast cancer were producing a certain protein called Macrophage Stimulating Protein. This protein was taken from the environment by another protein called Ron, in which emits acids, destroying the bones.
After collecting the needed data, the scientist knocked down the mouse gene containing the Ron protein, observing what would happen if the receptor was eliminated. Welm said that they found that the bone is completely protected even if the mouse has breast cancer cells the bones stayed in a better shape. According to the News Medical, In Australia the biotech company was conducting Phase 1 clinical trials to test the Ron inhibitor in cancer patients. Because the trial was initially conducted to test the safety of the drug the clinical test was limited.
Though the test subjects, both men and women over age 50 with various types of cancer, but none of them have cancer in the bones. However, due to their age, they are likely to have age related bone turnover. And most of the women are starting to get osteoporosis. The data gathered showed remarkable results.
According to the Sat Press Release, Analysts forecast the global Breast Cancer Monoclonal Antibodies market Revenue of 13.7 billion during the period 2016-2020. Welm thinks that the new drug that is developed to prevent bone destruction when breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body will work well with the existing treatments that are used. She also thinks that this drug could potentially be used to other type of cancers aside from breast cancer.