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Scientists have tracked changes in normal breast cells leading to cancer

22 December 2017 15:14

Researchers breast cancer compared earliest genetic changes in normal cells at different distances compared with primary tumors, to show how changes in the milk ducts can lead to disease.

The results of a multidisciplinary team of surgeons, pathologists and scientists led by principal investigator Dr. Susan Dawn, published in Nature Communications. "We found another piece of cancer puzzle - knowledge that could be used for greater accuracy in the screening and prevention of breast cancer , as well as therapeutic approaches to block some early changes before the cancer starts to grow", - commented the researchers .

"Technically difficult to study the earliest mutations occurring in human breast epithelial cells," - says lead author Mustafa Abdullah. Instead, the study found a way to detect early changes that precede cancer, which allowed a better understanding of the biology of cancer and the development of the disease. Normal thoracic mammary ductal epithelium, causing breast cancer has not been studied previously.

"Most breast cancers begin in the epithelial cells of the ducts of the mammary glands, but they are complex structures, like tree branches. Due to the surgeons, we were able to get samples of normal ducts for study and comparison, "- said Dr. Dawn.

In the operating room, surgeons have introduced a fiber-optic endoscope in the breast milk flow to the tumor, and then - a special dye. This method allowed us to identify the exact duct leading to the tumor and subsequently classify genetic changes, increases or decreases the closer to the cancer cells.

"Cancer does not begin overnight. As soon as the patient notices a seal, a tumor is already present for some time to accumulate genetic changes. At this point, it is difficult to identify early changes that could play a role in cancer development, "- said Dr. Dawn.

In a study of genes have been identified which appear to act in a group. "Some of these genes were either increase or decrease in the tumor, regardless of the type of breast cancer, and this is important, because in the framework of the models that we have identified, were predictable changes - said Dr. Dawn. - Our results confirm the findings of earlier studies from other sources that in the cells changes occur dot how they will be able to observe the patient. The fact that changes are already present in different areas of the breast, is of great importance to radiation therapy or surgical intervention. "



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