Vanderbilt University: breast cancer clues found in aging-related protein
Feb 3, 2011
New research from Vanderbilt University suggests that the deficiency of an aging-related protein is linked to increased risk of estrogen and progesterone receptor (ER/PR) positive breast cancer.
ER/PR positive breast cancer is the most common form of breast cancer in older, postmenopausal women.
According to Dr. David Gius, the principle investigator of the study, "The connection between aging and cancer is one of the most established phenomena in cancer research. The problem to address this clinically significant question is that this field lacks in vivo models to study this."
The new research, published in Molecular Cell, addresses the in vivo problem by using mice engineered to lack a crucial aging protein called Sirt3, found in mitochondria. When Sirt3 was not present, another protein called MnSOD became defective, leading to increased numbers of ER/PR positive tumors.
The new findings are another step towards improved screening, prevention, and treatment of ER/PR positive cancers.
According to the National Institute on Aging, cancer affects people of all ages but primarily those over 50. The National Cancer Institute recommends women over 50 to have mammograms every one to two years.