UNT Researchers Find Protein Linked to Breast Cancer Tumor Growth

I’m trying to not give people false hope: but, … I think in certain cases, I think it will have a big impact, yeah,” Mittler said in an interview with CBS.

UNT Cancer Link

University of North Texas researchers have uncovered a “game-changing breast cancer breakthrough,” according to a CBS 11 article.

Ron Mittler, a professor with UNT’s Department of Biological Sciences and the BioDiscovery Institute, discovered a protein linked to tumor growth three years ago.

“When we over express protein, we get really massive tumors. They grow much faster than normal tumors, and when we attack this target…they’re completely abolished! The tumors are really tiny and they’re not growing… yes, it can work,” Mittler said in an interview with the television station.

The protein, known as NAF1, can be destroyed by a drug that is FDA approved to treat Type 2 diabetes, CBS 11 reported.

“What we need to do, we can tailor the drug to be more effective and have less side effects.”
Ron Mittler

“Now that we know exactly what we are targeting in the protein,” Mittler said to CBS. “What we need to do, we can tailor the drug to be more effective and have less side effects.”

The researchers said that successful treatment varies with each patient because every cancer is different. Littler, whose mother passed away 15 years ago from triple negative breast cancer, stressed that his intention is not to give people false hopes.

“Being the son of somebody that died from cancer and knowing cancer, and knowing how nasty this disease is, I’m trying to not give people false hope: but, … I think in certain cases, I think it will have a big impact, yeah,” Mittler said.


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  1. […] the world each year. Now, a research team out of University of North Texas (UNT) believes their latest research throws a wrench into the spread of this […]