The healthy version of BRCA1 gene blocks estrogen signalling that can encouarge breast cancer cells to grow. When the gene is mutated, the blocking function is lost and tumors can grow unchecked–which suggests that drugs can be developed to imitate the blocking function. Written up in July issue of Molecular and Cellular Biology, one hope (according to a Medical News Today article) is to create a better way to help handle menopausal symptoms without increasing the danger of breast cancer.
Dosing women with estrogen is a popular way to mitigate the symptoms of menopause. So to a certain extent, this research is helping us solve one of the problems we created by our choice of treatment. Hopefully researchers will also be working out how to help prevent breast cancer in all women.