New Imaging Technique Could Lead to Better-Targeted Breast Cancer Treatment

New Imaging Technique Could Lead to Better-Targeted Breast Cancer Treatment
Scientists with Cancer Research UK at Kings College London have developed new imaging techniques that can identify with greater accuracy breast cancer patients that might respond to human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) targeted treatments. More than 53,600 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK. Approximately one in five of the more than 53,600 women diagnosed with breast cancer annually in the UK have tumors classified as HER2 positive. HER2 is one of a family of four similar biochemical molecules whose function is to help cells grow when the conditions are right. When they're not right and cells don't make enough of these molecules, the shortfall can result in neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's disease. Conversely, if cells make an excess of HER molecules, cancers can develop. In response to external signals, HER molecules will stick together in pairs, called dimers, causing their shape to change, which in turn activates a range of cellular processes, causing the cell to divide. However, according to the Kings College London researchers and their colleagues, different HER proteins can also pair up with each other, producing different effects on a cell. Studying these pairings can enhance understanding of how cancer cells might be growing. The investigative team, led by Richard Dimbleby, professor of cancer research at King's College London, and and Tony Ng, professor at King's College London and professor of molecular oncology at UCL-Cancer Institute, University College London, have reported their discoveries in a research paper published in the journal Oncotarget. The study, "HER2-HER3 dimer quantification by FLIM-FRET predicts breast cancer metastatic relapse independently of HER2 IHC status," notes that overex
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