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Stat5 protein inhibits spread of breast cancer cells

ls cultured in the laboratory and that additional studies are needed to determine whether Stat5 also inhibits invasion of human breast cancer cells tested in mice. These studies are underway and the outcome will determine whether new therapies could be designed to one day take advantage of the invasion-suppressive role of Stat5 in breast cancer. Because Stat5 is a protein that is located inside the cell, it cannot be administered in the form of injections to slow down breast tumor cells. However, Rui's laboratory is exploring alternative ways of switching Stat5 back on in breast cancer.

The results of this study support related research done last year by Rui and his colleagues: In a study that was published in the June 1, 2004 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the team identified Stat5 as a biomarker of a type of breast cancer that is associated with a favorable prognosis in patients. In fact, in breast cancer patients whose tumors had not yet spread to the nearby lymph nodes, loss of Stat5 was associated with a nearly 7.5-fold increased risk of death from recurring breast cancer. The new research now provides a mechanism to explain why Stat5 may be a useful tumor marker to predict risk and outcome in early stage breast cancer patients.


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Contact: Laura Cavender
lsc6@georgetown.edu
202-687-5100
Georgetown University Medical Center
3-Feb-2005


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