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Intra-nipple injections explored for breast cancer prevention and treatment

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Breast cancer prevention and treatment that uses nipple injections

Researchers have published details of a technique for preventing and treating breast cancer that uses nipple injections; sparing the body of chemotherapy toxins.

The technique, highlighted in the Journal of Visualized Experiments: JoVE, describes how using a new nanoparticle based therapy stopped breast cancer cells from spreading in mice.

What that means for breast cancer treatment, said Silva Krause, one of the Harvard researchers involved in the experiment is, “It also prevents drug breakdown by the liver, for example, which can rapidly reduce effective drug levels.”

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Intra-nipple injection could decrease side effects of chemotherapy for breast cancer that typically pass through all of the tissues in the body, Krause adds.

What the treatment does is target genes that promote breast cancer growth, targeting the milk ducts of the breast directly where the disease originates.

"This targeted treatment was shown to prevent cancer progression in mice that spontaneously develop mammary tumors, [and] is currently in review in Science Translational Medicine."

Krause said the finding is published in JoVe “Because the reader can actually watch the process and see how reagents, instruments, and animals are physically handled over time, the likelihood of reproducing this method in their own labs is greatly enhanced,” Silva said. The hope is that other researchers involved in breast cancer can use the information to enhance their own technical capabilities.

Injecting drugs directly into breast tissue is a promising new way that could help with prevention and treatment of breast cancer. The study authors say the technique can help researchers with questions about how genes contribute to breast cancer.