Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists identify two key genes linked to aggressive breast cancers

15.09.2005


Drugs already in development to target the genetic pathway

In a new study, scientists at The Hospital for Sick Children and Princess Margaret Hospital have shown that two genes called Notch1 and Jagged1 are linked to more aggressive breast cancers and that patients are less likely to survive the disease when these two genes are highly expressed.

The study is published in the September 15th issue of the journal Cancer Research, a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research.



"These two genes are likely markers indicating a patient’s probable prognosis," says the study’s principal investigator Dr. Sean Egan, senior scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children and associate professor of molecular and medical genetics at the University of Toronto. "Now we can develop a way of screening for these markers, which may help physicians determine how best to treat patients."

Notch1 and Jagged1 are players in the Notch signalling pathway, which is normally involved in cell communication, division, differentiation, survival, and self-renewal. The scientists’ work suggests that the Notch pathway may be overactive in some aggressive breast cancers.

"We’re excited by this discovery because there are drugs already in development that interfere with the Notch pathway," says the study’s lead author Dr. Michael Reedijk, surgical oncologist in the breast cancer program at Princess Margaret Hospital and assistant professor of surgery at the University of Toronto. "We’re benefiting from 10 years of research that’s been done on generating drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease. These drugs inhibit an enzyme called gamma secretase, which is likely responsible for the build up of amyloid plaques in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. As Notch signalling also depends on gamma secretase, these drugs may be useful in treating Notch-dependant cancers."

The scientists examined tumour samples from 184 breast cancer patients with different prognoses and compared the gene expressions with each patient’s outcome. Patients with high levels of Jagged1 had a five-year survival rate of 42% and an average survival of 50 months, compared to patients with low levels of Jagged1 who had a five-year survival rate of 65% and an average survival of 83 months.

Patients with high levels of Notch1 had a five-year survival rate of 49% and an average survival of 53 months, whereas patients with low levels of Notch1 had a five-year survival rate of 64% and an average survival of 91 months.

Patients with combined high levels of Jagged1 and Notch1 had a significantly reduced five-year survival rate of 34% and an average survival of 43 months.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and a leading cause of cancer death. The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that 21,600 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 5,300 will die of the disease in 2005. One in nine women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime, and one in 27 women will die from breast cancer.

Jennifer Kohm | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utoronto.ca

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

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

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

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: New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

IceCube experiment finds Earth can block high-energy particles from nuclear reactions

24.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure

24.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heidelberg Researchers Study Unique Underwater Stalactites

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>