Precision Medicine in Targeting Breast Cancer Treatment


University of Alberta scientists have found a mechanism that may make cancer cells more susceptible to treatment. The study group found that the protein RYBP prevents DNA repair in cancer cells, including breast cancer.

Mohammad Ali, a postdoctoral fellow and the lead author of the study said, “RYBP would make cancer cells more sensitive to DNA damage, which would make chemo or radiation treatment more successful”.

RYBP Biomarker:

This disclosure could potentially be another avenue for precision medicine, which would allow cancer treatment to be tailored to the patient’s DNA. The new RYBP biomarker can predict which patients will be helpful from specific types of chemotherapy.

There may also be opportunities to develop drugs that treat cancer by activating RYBP in tumors, including breast cancer.

Ali found that after radiation or drug treatment breast cancer cells that have high amounts of RYBP are more sensitive to DNA damage, including PARP (inhibitors of the enzyme poly ADP ribose polymerase utilized as a part of cancer treatment).

RYBP Is Best Known To Regulate Gene Expression:

This makes high-RYBP breast cancer cells react better to some anticancer and radiation therapy. The protein RYBP is best known to regulate gene expression, being a member of the large epigenetic protein complex PRC1.

In previous research, this group of University of Alberta specialists found that PRC1 complex repairs DNA damage in cancer cells. Amazingly, Ali found that RYBP prevents DNA repair and, all the more particularly, the error-free repair process.

The study group at that point identified the mechanism at the molecular level and the exact part of the protein that is responsible for this phenomenon.

Ali said, “Cancer cells that resist treatment can repair themselves in spite of the DNA damage. By preventing them from repairing, we could all the more viable treat tumor”.

Limitations & Future Directions:

Ali said, “My dream is to take this from bench to bedside and allow doctors to screen patients for better results.


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