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A new study from the University of Westminster shows that removing small genetic parts of our genome called microRNAs from triple negative breast cancer cells can reverse the spread.

The study, published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, also identified that microRNAs could be used for the early detection and treatment of triple negative breast cancer.

microRNAs (miRs) are small genetic materials that play an important role in cellular signaling and can have a major impact on the progression and spread of cancer. This is known as metastasis.

This research study identified that the amount of a major cancer-related microRNA, miR-21, is increased in triple negative breast cancer and is also related to metastasis.

The researchers then used a genome editing method (CRISPR / Cas9) to remove the miR-21 from the cancer cells and found that the metastatic characteristics of the cells were reversed. In addition, these gene-edited cells released fewer extracellular vesicles, which are tiny lipid blobs released from cells that play an important role in the spread of cancer.

The team also found that less harmful miR-21 was carried in the vesicles of the gene-edited cells, and this could play an important role in the spread of cancer, as these vesicles carry important disease-related molecules to neighboring cells.

Dr. Pinar Uysal-Onganer, lead researcher at the University of Westminster, said: “This is an important study that will help better understand the role of miRs in aggressive cancers such as triple negative breast cancer. We now want to clarify the relationship between miR-21 and Resistance to anti-cancer drugs, another major factor limiting cancer healing. “

According to Breast Cancer Now statistics, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the UK, with one woman diagnosed every 10 minutes.

Triple negative breast cancer is considered to be the most aggressive type of breast cancer and also has a very poor prognosis, mainly because there are less targeted drugs to treat compared to other types of breast cancer.

Studies have shown that triple negative breast cancer is more likely to spread beyond the breast to other parts of the body and is more likely to come back after treatment.

About 10 to 20% of breast cancers are triple negative. Therefore, it is important to find better diagnostic and therapeutic targets for this subtype of breast cancer.

Researchers are discovering potential new therapies for chemotherapy-resistant breast cancer

More information:
Elif Damla Arisan et al. MiR-21 is required for the epithelial-mesenchymal junction in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2021). DOI: 10.3390 / ijms22041557

Provided by the University of Westminster

Quote: Removing microRNAs from triple negative breast cancer cells may reverse their spread (2021, February 5), released on February 5, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-02-micrornas-triple-negative-breast- cancer-cells was obtained .html

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