Aug. 17--Breast cancer researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center are making headway in determining how tumors form and identifying patients who might be resistant to the common breast cancer drug tamoxifen.
In a study published Monday in the journal Cancer Cell, researchers revealed findings that "distant estrogen response elements," or DEREs, which control genes in response to the hormone estrogen, stimulate breast cancer tumor growth.
These should be studied for new ways to diagnose and treat breast cancers, they suggest in the study.
Two DERE regions on chromosomes 17q23 and 20q13 "were frequently amplified" in patients whose tumor growth is spurred by a reaction to the hormone estrogen, according to the study.
"This region can be a more sensitive biomarker for diagnosing breast cancer, especially to evaluate the potential prognosis," said the study's lead author Pei-Yin Hsu, a Ph.D. student in molecular medicine at the health science center.
Hsu said scientists may be able to develop a blood test to measure DEREs.
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