Two proteins have been identified as likely predictors of poorer outcomes in male breast cancer patients, a new study has found. The proteins are biomarkers and indicate that underlying genetics could play a larger role in male breast cancer.
The study, conducted by the University of Leeds in England, identified two proteins: eIF4E and eIF5, involved in male breast cancer. The study was published in Clinical Cancer Research.
Therapies for treating women may not be the best therapies for treating men.
Researchers compared the expression levels of several proteins in samples collected from breast cancer patients. The two genes identified in the study were found to be over-expressed in male patients but not in females. Over 700 male samples were evaluated in all.
Along with the discovery came the finding that those with higher levels of eIF4E and eIF5 were also 2.66 times more likely to die of the cancer than were others.
"Finding out whether existing drugs could target the proteins identified in this study could open up the possibility of improving treatment for some aggressive male breast cancers," said the study's lead author in a statement.