Researchers have found a new gene that may be the cause of an extremely rare breast cancer that is also very difficult to treat.
The new gene discovered is called ZNF703, and it is the first discovered oncogene in at least five years. Experts from Cancer Research UK explain that this discovery may pave the way for additional treatments in the future.
Normal-functioning oncogenes are the driving factor behind cell division. In normal cells, the division is perfectly fine, but the oncogenes also influence cell division in tumor cells, sometimes causing unstoppable multiplication of cells. In the cases of tumors, the oncogene can be considered “out of control”.
Experts explain in the EMBO Molecular Medicine journal that there is strong evidence alluding to ZNF703 being a new oncogene.
For the study, nearly 1,200 samples of breast tumors were analyzed.
The ZNF703 gene has been considered to be overactive in close to 10 percent of breast cancer cases.
Other cancer genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2 are considered tumor suppressors. This new ZNF703 acts in a completely opposite fashion.