Many triple-negative breast cancer tumors are basal, and these are the most aggressive.  Researchers have isolated a gene—the Met gene—that is in the majority of breast cancers.  More aggressive forms of cancer—basal types—have more of the gene.  There are existing inhibitors for this gene, so  scientists say this study may lead to new treatment for triple negative and other hormone negative forms.  Researchers were associated with the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan, headed by George Vande Woude, Ph.D., who has been studying the Met gene since the 1980s.

“This very exciting work by the Van Andel Research Institute gives us a new target for treatment of patients with one of the worst types of breast cancer — basal breast cancer,” said Dr. Daniel D.  Von Hoff, Physician-in Chief of the Translational Genomic Research Institute (TGen) in Phoenix, Arizona, which initiated an alliance with Van Andel Institute in February. “Since there are many new inhibitors of Met available for clinical trials, we now have a direct route for immediate application of these important findings in the care of patients with this very aggressive form of breast cancer.”

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