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 Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

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: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>