Protein related to aging holds breast cancer clues

Vanderbilt University
Research

by Melissa Marino | Posted on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011 — 12:25 PM

The most common type of breast cancer in older women – estrogen and progesterone receptor (ER/PR) positive breast cancer – has been linked to a protein that fends off aging-related cellular damage.

A new study led by Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center researcher David Gius now shows how a deficiency in this aging-associated protein may set the stage for these tumors to develop.

The findings, published in Molecular Cell, provide information that could assist in the screening, prevention and treatment of these common age-related cancers.

While the young are certainly not spared cancer’s wrath, cancer is primarily a disease of aging, with the majority of cases occurring in people over 50.

However, the biological processes that underlie this association are not clear.

“The connection between aging and cancer is one of the most established phenomena in cancer research,” said Gius, associate professor of cancer biology, pediatrics and radiation oncology. “The problem to address this clinically significant question is that this field lacks in vivo models to study this.”

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.