Two major studies have connected one key hormone to breast cancer

By understanding how the prolactin receptor correlates to breast cancer, novel therapeutic and prognostic agents can be developed to effectively treat the disease. Photo: Science Photo Library

(Clare Watson/ Science Alert) –– An unusual but ubiquitous hormone called prolactin, which plays a vital role in producing milk during pregnancy, could also be a major driver of breast cancer, two new studies have shown.

The findings are the latest in a long line of research from a lab led by cancer pathologist Charles Clevenger from Virginia Commonwealth University, who has been trying to untangle prolactin’s precise role in breast cancer ever since he discovered the first evidence that the growth factor could be involved in the disease midway through the 1990s.

The first of these two new studies from Clevenger and co. demonstrates that the presence of certain prolactin receptors transforms abnormal breast cells into cancerous cells. (…)

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