Jan. 11 (UPI) -- A novel protein could hold the key for slowing or preventing the spread of breast cancer, new research suggests.
Researchers at Louisiana State University found Nischarin, a novel protein breast cancer responsible for regulating breast cancer cell migration and movement, works to suppress tumor activity, a study published Friday in the journal Cancer Research.
"This novel role for the tumor suppressor Nischarin not only increases our understanding of the exosome biology, but can be translated to identifying new targets for modulating cancer metastasis," Suresh Alahari, a researcher at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, said in a press release. "Inhibition of the secretion of exosomes may serve as an effective treatment for cancer."
Nischarin release nano-sized Exosomes that consist of proteins and genetic material. Exosomes that come from tumors also have signaling messengers that help along tumor progression and metastasis.
Breast cancer tumor cells with Nischarin release fewer exosomes, lowering the cell's chance of survival. When researchers co-cultured breast cancer cells with exosomes from Nischarin, tumor growth and lung metastasis decreased.
In 2018, breast cancer accounted for 15.3 of all new cancer cases and 6.7 percent of cancer deaths, according to the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. It estimated close to 270,000 new cases of breast cancer in the US and nearly 41,000 deaths from the condition last year.
"It has been shown that exosomes can be developed as carriers for delivering drugs," Alahari said. "Nischarin-expressing exosomes in combination with drugs will likely have very good therapeutic effect on breast cancer patients."