Breast cancers have the ability to manipulate the bone structure, making it easier for the disease to spread, according to the University of Sheffield researchers.
The tumors are “fertilizing” the bone well to allow cancer cells to grow. But, a new study that was published in the Nature journal believed it is highly possible to protect the bones from a cancerous tumor’s destructive impact and consequently halt the spread of the malignant cancer cells.
“A whole new avenue for research” is opened up said the cancer charities.
85% of breast cancers that metastasize in the other parts of the body, usually end up in the bones, at which point the cancer is more deadly and difficult to treat by then.
Secondary cancers have high levels of enzyme called LOX, which are produced by the tumors and released into the blood.
In experiments performed on mice, the research indicated LOX disrupting the constant bone breakdown and rebuilding process, leaving holes and lesions in the bone.
Drugs were used to block LOX and prevented the spread of cancer.
Animal testing showed a set of osteoarthritis drugs named bisphosphonates can prevent cancer from spreading.
Bisphosphonates also inhibit the way bones are recycled in the body to strengthen it.
Patients with cancer were given Bisphosphonates and the research team believe they may have a potentially much larger role.
The outcome was found in oestrogen-negative breast cancers, that account for a third of the cases, but are more fatal.
Katherine Woods, of Breast Cancer Campaign and Breakthrough Breast Cancer, disclosed, “By unveiling the role that the protein LOX is playing, these results open up a whole new avenue for research and treatments that could stop breast cancer spreading to the bone.”
Aside from breast cancer, the findings are also applicable to colon cancer.