Gene clue could offer early diagnosis of breast cancer

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(WTVR) — Researchers have discovered a mutant gene that causes breast cancer to spread.

Scientists said the discovery of a gene, which creates a protein that makes cancer cells travel, could help could help identify women who are at risk.

Researchers also believe the discovery could lead to new drugs to keep cancer from spreading. 

Scientists looked at tissue samples from 671 breast cancer patients. Women with high levels of the gene variant were 50% more likely to die from their disease, scientists found. 

The findings are published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.