Study finds that the GRB7 gene drives an aggressive form of the disease
Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute researchers found that the GRB7 gene drives an aggressive form of breast cancer and acts independently of the HER-2 gene, known to be a stimulator of breast cancer growth. Isolating the role of this gene could ultimately help fine-tune a patient’s treatment and enable physicians to provide a more accurate prognosis.
The study, published online this month by Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, established that levels of GRB7, or growth factor receptor bound protein seven, are important on their own as a marker for aggressive breast cancer. Previously it was understood that patients whose breast cancer tumors tested positive for high levels of HER-2, the protein human epidermal growth factor receptor-2, tended to have a more aggressive form of the disease than patients whose tumors did not have elevated levels of this protein. However, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute researchers found that the protein driving this aggressive form of the disease is GRB7 rather than HER-2 on its own.