Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Large study documents how p53 mutations link to high-grade breast cancer, poor outcomes

21.04.2009
In what is believed to be the largest study of its kind in the US, researchers have found that almost 26 percent of women studied who have breast cancer have mutations in a gene important in controlling cell growth and death, and that patients with mutations in this gene – known as p53 - had poorer outcomes including a significantly increased risk of death from the cancer.

Researchers say their study, presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), confirm the findings of other smaller studies, and is an important step forward in understanding risk factors that lead to development of breast cancer.

For example, the investigators have found that postmenopausal women with high body weight were more likely to have a particular kind of p53 mutation, but they say this link needs to be studied further.

"The p53 gene is the guardian of the genome because it signals the cell to repair DNA damage when that occurs. If we can find genetic or environmental risk factors that lead to damage of p53 or stress on the gene, we may be able to help prevent development of breast cancer as well as other cancers," says the study's lead investigator, Catalin Marian, MD, PhD, a research instructor of cancer genetics and epidemiology at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC).

The work was conducted by research groups led by Peter Shields, MD, professor of medicine and oncology at Lombardi, and Jo Freudenheim, PhD, chair of social and preventive medicine at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Scientists from both institutions are evaluating data from a population-based case-control study of breast cancer in New York. The Western New York Exposure and Breast Cancer (WEB) Study included 1,170 women diagnosed with breast cancer between 1996 and 2001 as well as 2,116 women without cancer, and is an effort to link lifestyle and environmental exposures to gene changes and development of breast cancer. In this part of the study, GUMC researchers isolated DNA from 803 breast cancer tumor samples, and screened them for DNA mutations in the p53 gene. They found the p53 mutation frequency among the cases to be 25.6 percent, and 95 percent of those were point mutations – a change in a single base nucleotide with another nucleotide.

They determined that a p53 mutation was most commonly associated with ER-/PR- tumors in premenopausal women, but among postmenopausal women with breast cancer, the presence of a p53 mutation was most commonly associated with higher body mass index (BMI), and higher-grade, poorly differentiated tumors. Women with these tumors as well as p53 mutations had a 2.4-fold increased risk of dying from their disease, Marian says.

The researchers then dug a little deeper to see if tumor status was related to the type of point mutation found in the p53 gene. There are four nucleotides in the genome and they come in two complementary pairings – A and G are purines and C and G are pyrimidines. A transition mutation occurs when one purine is replaced by the other purine or when pyrimidines are switched. A transversion mutation is replacement of a purine with a pyrimidine or vice versa and is considered to be "more dangerous, with a higher chance of negatively affecting the function of the p53 protein," Marian says.

While either transition or transversion mutations were found in premenopausal with hormone receptor-negative cancer, only transition mutations (A or G replaced by each other) were positively associated in postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-negative cancers that were higher-grade and had a poorer outcome. Transversion mutations (A or G replaced by C or G or vice versa) in postmenopausal women with breast cancer were associated with a higher BMI.

"The association between transversions and BMI is particularly interesting, because excess body weight is already known to be a risk factor for breast cancer," Marian says.

"We are laying the groundwork for future studies that look at gene-gene and gene-environmental interactions with p53," he says. "If we can document such effects, it may be possible to test patients for these factors in advance and tailor treatment appropriately."

Marian and his co-authors report no potential financial conflicts. This work was funded by the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program and the National Institutes of Health.

About Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of Georgetown University Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital, seeks to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer through innovative basic and clinical research, patient care, community education and outreach, and the training of cancer specialists of the future. Lombardi is one of only 41 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation, as designated by the National Cancer Institute, and the only one in the Washington, DC, area. For more information, go to http://lombardi.georgetown.edu.

About Georgetown University Medical Center

Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through our partnership with MedStar Health). Our mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis -- or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Health Studies, both nationally ranked, the world-renowned Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO), home to 60 percent of the university's sponsored research funding.

Karen Mallet | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.georgetown.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Amputees can learn to control a robotic arm with their minds
28.11.2017 | University of Chicago Medical Center

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>