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Nature Paper Details Estrogen's Role in Breast Cancer Cells
An article in the Sept. 24 issue of the journal Nature Cell Biology explains, at a molecular level, how the estrogen hormone can help keep breast cancer cells alive. The authors assign roles to a number of genes and proteins thought to play a part in breast cancer cell survival and, in the process, identify potential molecular drug targets.
"It's a very complex story, but we have been able to bring together a number of basic discoveries from different fields of research to work out the basic mechanism by which estrogen can exert a prolife effect on cancer cells," said the study's lead author, Edward T. H. Yeh, M.D., director of the Research Center for Cardiovascular Diseases at The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases (IMM). The IMM is a part of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
Yeh also is professor and chair of the Department of Cardiology at the UT M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. The study at M. D. Anderson was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.
The first author of the paper, Fei Gao, M.D., Ph.D., was a postdoctoral fellow with Yeh at the IMM and now is an associate professor and vice director, Department of Cell Biology, and vice director, Science and Technology Division, at the Shanghai Jiao-Tong University School of Medicine in Shanghai, China.
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