Shanghai Cancer Center discovers root genome in most deadly breast cancer

Cai Wenjun
In an effort to treat triple-negative breast cancer, doctors at the Shanghai Cancer Center have achieved significant progress in isolating and researching the MARCO-TST genome.
Cai Wenjun

Breast cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in women, while triple-negative breast cancer is the most complex and deadly form, with a much higher chance of relapsing and metastasis, according to doctors at the Shanghai Cancer Center.

Such breast cancer does not express the genes for HER2, progesterone receptors, or estrogen receptors. Therefore, chemotherapy is the only treatment option, and the long-term treatment outcome is poor.

Triple-negative breast cancer affects between 15 and 20 percent of patients.

Therefore, doctors at the Shanghai Cancer Center have been focused on looking for precise treatment targeting triple-negative breast cancer.

They have isolated the world's first genome of this type of cancer, and further classified it into different subtypes for precise diagnosis and treatment.

Experts found MARCO-TST has a high expression among patients with triple-negative breast cancer, and is more prevalent in one subtype.

Further experiments confirmed that MARCO-TST can boost the development of triple-negative breast cancer.

"Controlling MARCO-TST can be promising in reducing the risk of development and metastasis of triple-negative breast cancer," said Dr Shao Zhimin, director of the Shanghai Cancer Center's breast surgery department, and a leading expert in the research.

"We tried a BET inhibitor, which has had an effect on triple-negative breast cancer with the MARCO-TST mutation. The ability of cancerous cells' prolification is greatly prohibited in animal experiments. The discovery has a strong potential for clinical development to provide patients with a new precise treatment."

Shao said the hospital will keep looking for more new targets in triple-negative breast cancer.

The discovery was published by the world-leading journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

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