SOX2 Protein That Resists Treatment Of Breast Cancer


A study in the Basque Country shows that SOX2 protein makes the tumor more aggressive in recurrence.

A study led by researcher Mary Vivanco, Basque center CIC bioGUNE bioscience research has revealed that SOX2 protein resists the treatment of breast cancer and causes the tumor to return and become ‘more aggressive and invasive’ than the first.

Research shows that SOX2 protein ‘fosters whole rebellion against cancer endocrine therapy to desensitize tumor cells compared to hormone treatment,’ says CIC bioGUNE in a statement.

Recently published in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine, the study was carried out by the Basque research center involving Galdakao (Bizkaia) and Preteimagen clinic.

Breast cancer is the most common among women, and though it has a high cure rate-around 80 percent can have very serious effects.

The majority of cases of breast cancer mortality is caused by so-called recurrence, namely malignant tumor recurrence after a shorter or longer period of freedom from disease.

In severe cases, when the tumor recurs, it is resistant to treatment and has higher invasive capacity and is more aggressive than the previous tumor, so it is a serious clinical problem, adds the note.

The study explains how some tumors revive, despite having been treated and even ‘become more aggressive and invasive’, and concludes that SOX2 protein helps keep these cancer stem cells.

According to research, the protein has ‘double effect of making cells more resistant to the treatment and to facilitate the survival of cells that originate recurrence’.

‘This makes SOX2 protein a potential biomarker for resistance to treatment. Its concentration in a tumor could warn the danger of this,’ she adds.

According to María Vivanco, this finding ‘may provide a novel strategy to address breast cancer resistant to hormone therapy’ through drugs such as tamoxifen, which is used in the vast majority of cases.

Vivanco is specialized in breast cancer research and has participated in other studies such as the one published in 2012 in the journal ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ (PNAS) which explained how protein HOXB9 helped cancer cells radiotherapy survive.

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