Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study finds women with triple negative breast cancer and BRCA mutations have lower risk of recurrence

30.09.2010
Patients with triple negative breast cancer that also have mutations in the BRCA gene appear to have a lower risk of recurrence, compared to those with the same disease without the deleterious genetic mutation, according to researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The findings may offer a direction for study of personalized therapy in this select group of triple negative breast cancer patients, as well as highlight the unique need for genetic testing in a patient population.

Ana M. Gonzalez-Angulo, M.D., associate professor in MD Anderson's Departments of Breast Medical Oncology and Systems Biology presented the findings in advance of the 2010 Breast Cancer Symposium.

"There is data on the number of breast cancer patients with BRCA mutations, as well as those that have triple negative disease. However, there is no understanding of the incidence of BRCA1 and 2 mutations in unselected patients with triple negative breast cancer," said Gonzalez-Angulo, the study's first and corresponding author. "Now, there are new drugs that appear to be more effective in treating triple negative breast cancer and BRCA status may be an important way of selecting patients that may respond to these therapies."

Triple negative disease - breast cancer that is estrogen, progesterone and HER2-neu receptor negative - accounts for about 15 percent of all breast cancers. Currently, it's an area of much research focus in the breast cancer community because: it lacks effective targets effective for anti-cancer therapies; chemotherapy is only effective in about 40 percent of patients; and in those that do relapse, the disease is highly resistant and patients die quickly.

PARP inhibitors, a class of drugs of growing interest in cancer research, have shown promise in both patients with BRCA and triple negative disease. PARPs appear to be more effective in patients with BRCA mutations, as both PARP enzymes and proteins produced by the BRCA genes are involved in the repair of DNA. Therefore, the MD Anderson finding may provide an early idea of how to select those triple negative breast cancer patients that may respond best to therapy.

For this study, part of Gonzalez-Angulo's ongoing laboratory project, Molecular Characterization of Triple Negative Breast Cancer, the researchers sent both tumor and normal tissue of 77 women with triple negative disease to Myriad Genetics Inc. to identify germline (inherited) and somatic (in tumor only) BRCA mutations. Of those 77 patients, 15 (19.5 percent), were found to have mutations (14 germline, one somatic) -12 (15.6 percent) with BRCA1 and three (3.9 percent) with BRCA2.

The triple negative breast cancer patients were treated at MD Anderson between 1987 and 2006, and all but one received the same adjuvant chemotherapy regimen. The median follow-up was 43 months. The five-year relapse-free and five-year overall survival of the patients with either BRCA mutation, was 86,2 percent, and 73.3 percent, respectively, compared to 51.7 percent and 52.8 percent, respectively, in patients lacking mutations.

The researchers were surprised by the findings, however, Gonzalez-Angulo notes that prior studies conducted were case-controlled looking at BRCA mutations carriers with all types of breast cancer. The MD Anderson study is the first to look exclusively at women with triple negative breast cancer, an unselected population.

Also surprising, the incidence of BRCA mutations in the triple negative breast cancer population was higher than expected, said Gonazlez-Angulo.

"It was interesting to find that a good portion of these women were not sent to genetic counseling - some didn't meet the criteria to be sent for testing, however they still had BRCA mutations," said Gonazlez-Angulo. "Perhaps we need to lower our threshold for patients with triple negative breast cancer for genetic counseling and to assess for mutation status - especially those under age 50 - despite not having the significant family history as others."

As a follow up, Gonzalez-Angulo plans to continue her ongoing laboratory research, with signaling pathways, RNA, DNA, and other mutations of the disease.

In addition to Gonzalez-Angulo, other authors on the study include, from MD Anderson: Gabriel Hortobagyi, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Breast Medical Oncology; Banu Arun, M.D., professor in the Departments of Breast Medical Oncology and Clinical Cancer Genetics; Jennifer Litton, M.D., assistant professor, Department of Breast Medical Oncology; Huiqin Chen, Department of Breast Medical Oncology; Funda Meric Bernstam, M.D., professor in the Department of Surgical Oncology; Kim-Anh Do, Ph.D, Department of Biostatistics. From Myriad Genetics Inc., authors include; Jerry S. Lanchbury, Ph.D; Jennifer Potter, Ph.D., Kirsten Timms, Ph.D.

Gonalez-Anuglo has ongoing research collaboration with, but receives no funding from, Myriad Genetics, Inc.

About MD Anderson

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston ranks as one of the world's most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. MD Anderson is one of only 40 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute. For seven of the past nine years, including 2010, MD Anderson has ranked No. 1 in cancer care in "America's Best Hospitals," a survey published annually in U.S. News & World Report.

Laura Sussman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mdanderson.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

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: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>