A study done by researchers at UT Southerwestern (UTSW) has found that a significant amount of breast cancer patients have higher levels of the ZMYND8 gene.
The discovery of the higher levels of this specific gene could make it a potential target for precision medicine treatments and immunotherapies.
Breast Cancer is the most common type of cancer, and second leading cause of cancer death among women worldwide.
Yingfei Wang, PhD, assistant professor of pathology and neurology and corresponding author of the study said, “The gene ZMYND8 is increased in breast cancer conditions, and higher levels of the gene correlate with poor survival of breast cancer patients.
“It could be a promising target for antitumor immunotherapy.”
Researchers conducted this study initially in mouse models, they aimed to see what would happen to breast cancer cells if they removed the ZMYND8 gene.
Whilst this research is promising, the researchers themselves admit more studies need to be conducted to determine whether reducing ZMYND8 levels in humans will have the same effect as it did in the mouse models.
“We are very interested in identifying small molecule inhibitors of ZMYND8,” said Weibo Luo, PhD, assistant professor of pathology and pharmacology and another corresponding author of the study.
Finding these inhibitors will enable researchers to develop new treatments for breast cancer patients that can be used alone, or in combination with other treatments.
Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Scholar in Cancer Research, Weibo Luo, “ZMYND8 can control tumor progression and spread, or metastasis. The protein is very important, at least in breast cancer, and if we can find inhibitors, we can combine them with other therapies for breast cancer treatment.”
You can read all about the study here.