Cellular basis for age-related breast cancer vulnerability uncovered
Washington, June 5 (ANI): It is understood that the risks of breast cancer increase dramatically for women over the age of 50, but what takes place at the cellular level to cause this increase has been a mystery.
Now, a new study by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has provided some answers and the possibility of preventative measures in the future.
Mark LaBarge, a cell and molecular biologist in Berkeley Lab's Life Sciences Division, led a study in which it was determined that aging causes an increase in multipotent progenitors - a type of adult stem cell believed to be at the root of many breast cancers - and a decrease in the myoepithelial cells that line the breast's milk-producing luminal cells and are believed to serve as tumor suppressors.
"This is a big step towards understanding the cellular basis for age-related vulnerability to breast cancer," said LaBarge.
"Now that we have defined some of the cell and molecular changes that occur in the epithelium during the aging process and we have the ability to assay them functionally, it should be possible to look for ways to avoid those states and perhaps even reverse them," he stated.
The findings were published in the journal Cancer Research describing this study. (ANI)
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