Scientists may have found a protein marker, which can predict which breast cancer patients will relapse. Right now, the recurrence rate for women in the early stages is about ten to fifteen percent. But right now, there's no way of knowing which women will be affected.
Scientists poured over 116 specimens from breast cancer patients in search of a protein responsible for breast cancers, which tend to recur.
They didn't find one, they found two!
What they identified were a pair of proteins known as SHC, one of them an activated form. Those with the activated form were more likely to have a relapse. The protein acts like an accelerant, pushing events forward.
These findings were published in the Oct.15 issue of Cancer Research.
There's a move to expand this research to include many hundreds, perhaps even thousands of tumor specimens from breast cancer patients around the country, to confirm these results.
The hope to eventually devise a test, which could be used in conjunction with other emerging tests to help more accurately identify high risk women.