About 25% of newly diagnosed breast cancer is ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and it is usually treated with surgery and sometimes radiation. However, only about half of the incidences of DCIS are likely to spread, leading many to seek a less invasive treatment. Scientific American recently highlighted work conducted at Harvard University using RNA that was designed to turn off the HoxA1 gene known to be involved in breast cancer development. The research was conducted in mice and involved injecting the RNA nanoparticles into the nipples of the mice. This intraductal therapy was successful at reducing the malignant cancer incidence from 100% to 25%. For more information on treating early stage breast cancer without surgery, see our page on breast cancer prevention.