Scientists from the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) carry out research that places them at the forefront in the study of breast cancer in the country, by analyzing the factors involved in the dissemination, invasion and tumor metastasis (invasion of malignant cells to other organs such as the lung or bones), which will allow timely prediction of the appearance of metastasis .
Because the metastasis is the cause of death of a little more than a third of the patients who have had a cancerous breast tumor removed, the head of the research project that is carried out in the National School of Medicine and Homeopathy (ENMH), the doctor Paula Figueroa-Arredondo, stressed that the Cancer of the mammary gland It is the leading cause of cancer death in women:
"It is considered that at the end of 2010 there will be in Mexico a mortality rate of 13 per 100 thousand adult women and about 4,500 deaths per year."
The specialist in molecular biomedicine , explained that metastases occur in 40% of patients operated on for breast cancer, and the appearance of metastasis in a patient conditions an unfavorable prognosis, which frequently leads to death.
The polytechnic researcher mentioned that "although all the cells of an individual have the same DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid), they do not express the same genes and this allows them to develop different functions in the different organs but, for example, the cells of the immune system They have special characteristics that allow them to circulate through all tissues .
When a cancer cell is going to return metastatic , Acquires similar characteristics to be disseminated and get to settle in new locations of the organism by blood and lymphatic, where they begin to express specific molecules, which are what investigates.
Figueroa-Arredondo, said that the study of these molecules is currently done in tissues from biopsies of tumors with cancer , with the purpose of establishing the prognosis of developing metastasis and thus facilitate the physician's decision to give immediate attention to chemotherapy to patients with a positive diagnosis, and to at least one of the three molecules with which they work and which are more expressed when there is metastatic activity.