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A. A New Way To Predict A Recurrence Of Breast Cancer

Narrator: This is Science Today. There may be a new way to predict whether or not a woman will have a recurrence of breast cancer after surgery. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco are working on a new laboratory test which, professor of medicine Ira Goldfine says, measures the amount of proteins called insulin receptors.

Goldfine: It's very important to have normal insulin regulation in mammary tissue for the mammary tissue to develop and do its thing. So, there are insulin receptors there. It's a situation where insulin not only regulates glucose uptake, but the manufacture of proteins and the normal metabolism of the cell taking up substances and putting out substances and building itself up.

Narrator: The study found breast cancers were less likely to return within five years of surgery if the tumor cells contained normal levels of insulin receptors.

Goldfine: I think it could be a very powerful guide to one, predicting who is going to have a relatively poor outcome and who will not. And two, I think it'll probably be a guide for certain types of chemotherapy. 197 So we think it's going to have predictive value and therapeutic value.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.