Heart drug may block breast cancer gene

heart pillsWASHINGTON (Reuters) – A gene that is highly active in up to 20 percent of breast cancer cases might be blocked by a generically available blood pressure drug, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday.

The gene, called AGTR1, caused normal breast cells to behave like cancer cells but the blood pressure drug losartan stopped them, the team at the University of Michigan found.

They transplanted human tumors that expressed AGTR1 — meaning the gene was active — into mice. Eight weeks after they gave the mice losartan the tumors shrank by 30 percent, they reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

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