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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Drug experiment: Stopping breast cancers

Finding drugs that can beat cancer is a massive, ongoing research. It takes a lot of reseach and medical studies to find suitable molecules that can affect a particular cancer; as a result, when a particular molecule seems to have some promise, it raises a lot of hope and optimism, as in this case for this molecule that seems to have a positive affect on breast cancer (link to article):

A new drug called olaparib may help thousands of women suffering from genetic breast cancer, if results of the first tests on patients are to be believed. The researchers behind the study tested the drug on 54 women with advanced genetic breast cancer, and found that the drug olaparib could stop the growth of tumours and shrink them in more than 40 per cent of cases.
A large number of cases of breast cancer are caused by defects on the BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 genes, which put women at much higher risk of developing aggressive cancers of the breast or ovaries. And, usually, women who test positive for the mutations have their breasts removed as a precaution, because they have an 80 per cent risk of developing breast cancer in their lifetime.

Not every molecule makes it to after trials and studies, but all of them promise hope. The drug could remove the tumor from some of those afflicted; the drug works by acting on a protein that promotes cancer; another positive side effect is by acting only on the cancer cells as opposed to other cancer treatments that have side effects.

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