FARMINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) -- Iron and breast cancer: is there a link?
Researchers are discovering that in animal studies a decreased presence of a specific iron protein in breast cancer cells leads to tumor growth.
Led by principal investigator, Dr. Suzy Torti, researchers at UConn Health Center are finding there is a link between breast cancer and levels of iron.
"The tumor cells are keeping it for themselves and they are not pumping them out," said Dr. Torti. "They're using it for their growth."
Somehow, cancer cells feed on the iron to grow. That's the findings so far in animal studies. Specifically, Dr. Torti is looking at the iron protein, Ferroportin.
"How does the cancer regulate the Ferroportin, that's what we're trying to figure out," replied Dr. Torti.
Meanwhile, Dr. Torti says it could help better guide doctors in treating women based on the levels of the protein.
For women taking iron supplements, Dr. Torti says there is no definitive link.
"Iron supplements are good if you are anemic, but you shouldn't probably take too much of it like any other thing," Dr. Torti said, "but again it's not clear your risk or your outcome of cancer would be affected by taking iron supplements."
The research could lead to developing a new anti-cancer therapy targeting the demand of cancer cells for iron.
Again, Dr. Torti says there is no direct link for women taking iron supplements.
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BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — Bristol police say they have arrested and charged a 51-year-old man who threatened to blow up City Hall because of a lien placed on property he owns.
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A 22-year-old Norwich woman was arrested for selling drugs in a parking lot and attempting to flee from officers on Monday.
A Danbury teen was stabbed to death during a brawl on Saturday night.
Route 1 in Guilford was closed in both directions Monday afternoon, because of a house fire.