Doctors believe they
have found a way of identifying when and if breast cancer will spread to other regions of the body.
Scientists at Imperial College London found that high levels of a genetic
modification called methylation on the CACNA2D3 gene acted as a molecular
post-it note that flags up the possibility of tumours multiplying.
The research observed how the addition of methyl groups to the gene prevented
it from inhibiting cancer development.
Lead author Dr Carlo Palmieri said: "The next stage is to repeat these
findings in larger studies with patients to confirm whether analysing
methylation of the gene could be a useful test."
Cancer Research's cancer information manager Dr Julie Sharp explained that this
was just the latest advancement in the field of epigenetics - the study of how
external modifications of the DNA change how genes are expressed.
According to the charity, breast cancer is the most common form of the disease
in the UK.
© Adfero Ltd
Cancer treatment news : 13 July 2012