Journal scan

Research identifies new way of attacking breast cancer cells

A study has revealed a new method of attacking the growth of cancer cells, after researchers discovered a protein that drives the spread of breast cancer.

A study has revealed a new method of attacking the growth of cancer cells, after researchers discovered a protein that drives the spread of breast cancer.


A breast cancer cell: the new breakthrough is 'a game-changer'    Picture: Science Photo Library

Researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research, London worked with the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute at the University of Manchester and found that the protein lysyl oxidase, or LOX, plays an important role in driving breast cancer growth and spread.

The study, published in Nature Communications, found that in mice, LOX appeared to help breast cancer cells trap growth receptors on their surface as a means of growing more quickly.

Tumour reduction 

The research team also designed and validated a prototype drug, called CCT365623, which blocks this function, and is able to slow tumour growth and metastases in mice.

Scientists worked with mice that spontaneously develop breast cancer and demonstrated that they could reduce both the tumour volume and the size and number of metastases when they genetically removed the LOX gene.

Caroline Springer, joint senior author and ICR team leader of Gene and Oncogene Targeting at the ICR, said: 'To discover how LOX appears to drive the growth of breast cancer cells is a real game changer.'


Tang H et al (2017) Lysyl oxidase drives tumour progression by trapping EGF receptors at the cell surface. Nature Communications. doi:10.1038/ncomms14909

This article is for subscribers only

Jobs