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New Gene Blocker Injection Could Prevent Necessary Mastectomies

Currently, women facing early breast cancer signs are left with few preventative options; all of which have severe side-effects (i.e. Chemotherapy and mastectomies).

However, the Harvard Wyss Institute research team believes they are on the verge of a breakthrough that could lead to a whole new kind of preventative care when it comes to cancer, specifically breast cancer.
Their research indicates that it is possible to isolate the gene that carries the cancer, and block it before it has a chance to develop and create tumors.

Yet, identifying these genes is not an easy task, as there are thousands of cells that are active at any time.
Thus, researchers used some pretty sophisticated mathematical models to ‘reverse engineer’ the gene networks in cancerous cells.

This process allowed the researches to narrow their suspect genes down one hundred possible culprits, then down to six, and finally, down to just one gene, most-commonly known as the HOXA1, which had the strongest statistical link to cancer prior to the new study.

Once this gene was identified and isolated, the researchers began testing their cancer reversal treatment in mice which resulted in fantastic a outcome. Overall, the gene blocking treatments that the mice received stopped cancer development and encouraged healthy tissue growth.

Essentially, the treatment given to the mice consisted of a nanoparticle injection directly into the milk-ducts of the cancer-prone mice. After several weeks of the experiment, the mice who received the treatment were healthy, while the mice who did not receive the treatment ultimately developed breast cancer.

Thus, the Harvard research team is well on its way to creating and implementing a preventative treatment for breast cancer that does NOT include deadly and life-altering radiation, chemotherapy, or mastectomies.
Though the results of this experiment are very promising, the treatment has yet to be performed on humans, so human side-effects and long term consequences are yet to be determined. Additionally, the researchers are well aware that there are many different types of breast cancer, which could be deriving from different genes other than the HOXA1.

Sources: The Scotsman

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