"DALLAS – Nov. 7, 2013 – A team of researchers at UT Southwestern has found that as cholesterol is metabolized, a potent stimulant of breast cancer is created – one that fuels estrogen-receptor positive breast cancers, and that may also defeat a common treatment strategy for those cancers.Dr. Philip Shaul, Professor and Vice Chair for Research in Pediatrics and a member of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center
The multidisciplinary team discovered that a cholesterol metabolite called 27-hydroxycholesterol, or 27HC, promotes tumor growth in estrogen-receptor positive breast cancers, which are the most common type of breast cancer. Estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer was previously believed to be stimulated primarily by the female sex hormone estrogen and it is commonly treated using endocrine-based medications that starve tumors of estrogen.
The discovery of 27HC as another driver of breast cancer may explain why endocrine-based therapy is often unsuccessful, providing a new target for therapy, the researchers say."
Via Susan Zager