File - First lady Wafaa Sleiman, center, attends the 12th annual national breast cancer awareness campaign at AUB in Beirut, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
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Lebanese scientists have tested a drug developed here that successfully treats an aggressive form of breast cancer in mice, in a potential early breakthrough in the disease's treatment.About half of the mice that were given the drug after being injected with cancer cells survived beyond 60 days. Over the same period of time, 90 percent of the mice who were not given the treatment died. The researchers, all of them from AUB, tested the drug first on three strains of breast cancer cells in a petri dish and then on mice.After that, Ghattas injected mice with the more dangerous strain of cancer cells, which can spread from the breast to other organs. Some of the mice were treated with the DCQ drug, and the growth of the tumor was monitored on a weekly basis. Three weeks after treatment, the tumor growth was found to be greatly reduced by DCQ, and around half of the mice survived beyond two months after being injected with the cancer. HIF-1 alpha also makes the breast cancer cells resistant to treatment.
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