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Targeting Metallothionein for Prognosis and Treatment of Breast Cancer

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Breast cancer is a disease that has plagued many women globally. The rapid rise in the incidence rate has prompted the rigorous search to understand its etiology and find better management strategies for this disease. Metallothionein (MT) belongs to a family of metal-binding proteins where dysregulated expression of this protein has been observed in invasive breast ductal carcinomas. Since its discovery in equine kidney, functions of MT have extended beyond the initial role of heavy metal detoxification to promoting tumorigenesis. MT, which was reported to be highly expressed in many tumors including breast cancers, is known to regulate key processes such as cell proliferation, apoptosis and even chemoresistance. In this patent review, we shall evaluate the roles of 10 functional isoforms of MT in breast neoplasia and discuss the utility of MT isoforms as biomarkers for prognosis. Strategies targeting MT for treatment could provide alternatives to overcome this dreaded disease which has claimed the lives of many women.

Keywords: Biomarker; MT-1E; MT-2A; MT-3; breast cancer; chemoresistance; mammary gland; metallothionein; molecular therapy; tumorigenesis

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-05-01

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  • Recent Patents on Anti-Cancer Drug Discovery publishes review articles on recent patents in the field of anti-cancer drug discovery e.g. novel bioactive compounds, analogs & targets. A selection of important and recent patents on anti-cancer drug discovery is also included in the journal. The journal is essential reading for all researchers involved in anti-cancer drug design and discovery.
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