5 Oct 2016 IMU’s Researchers Identified Growth Factors That Can Enhance Growth of Breast Cancer Cells
A team of researchers led by Prof Leong Chee Onn, Head of the Center for Cancer and Stem Cell Research (Institute for Research, Development, and Innovation, IRDI) had identified a growth factor which can mediate survival of breast cancer cells.
The paper titled Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 4 (FGFR4) and Fibroblast Growth Factor 19 (FGF19) Autocrine Enhance Breast Cancer Cells Survival was recently published in the journal Oncotarget, 2016.
Breast cancer remains the greatest challenge because of its clinical nature of being difficult to treat. Therefore, the discovery of how cancer cells survive is a priority for patients with breast cancer.
Fibroblast growth factor (FGFs) are a protein involving in a variety of biological processes such as growth and development of body parts, as well as repair of injured tissue. In order for the FGFs to function more efficiently, they bind to receptors known as fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs).
Prof Leong and his team identified fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4), an essential protein critical for the proliferation and survival of breast cancer cells. Importantly, FGFR4 specifically binds to fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19), which is a growth factor secreted by the breast cancer cells. The results implicated that the growth of the breast cancer cells could be hindered by interfering the pathway in which FGF19 binds to FGFR4.
To date, only limited studies on FGFR4 have been reported so far. The specific role for FGFR4 in breast cancer is not well established as well.
This may serve as a novel therapeutic intervention and it definitely sheds new lights for future treatment of breast cancers.