Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Clues to pregnancy-associated breast cancer found

30.03.2010
Expression of inflammatory-related genes in breast tissue of women who have previously given birth may explain the aggressiveness and frequency of pregnancy-associated breast cancer, according to new research at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Pregnancy at a relatively young age reduces the risk of breast cancer over the long term, but epidemiological studies have found that women are at an increased risk for breast cancer during pregnancy and for up to 10 years after giving birth, said Debra Tonetti, associate professor of pharmacology and lead researcher on the study.

These pregnancy-associated breast cancers also carry an unusually high risk of spreading to nearby organs and for lethality as compared to breast cancers in women who have never been pregnant, she said.

Tonetti and her research team examined the level of expression of 64 genes in tissue from benign breast biopsies and breast-reduction surgeries at the University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago. The women, who were between the ages of 18 and 45, were divided into three categories: those who had never been pregnant, those who had been pregnant within the past two years, and those who had been pregnant five to 10 years previously.

The set of examined genes included genes known to be related to immunity and inflammation, extracellular matrix remodeling, angiogenesis (the growth of new blood vessels vital to wound healing) or hormone signaling.

Twenty-two percent of the examined genes showed significant difference in expression in the breast tissue of women who had never given birth compared with those who had. Inflammation-related genes, as a class, were more active in women who had borne a child. Involution -- the process by which the breast returns to normal following lactation -- could be a cause of the inflammation, she said.

"Our results showed an increase in immune/inflammatory activity in the post-pregnant breast," Tonetti said. "Interestingly, this response was not limited to the recently pregnant group, but also characterized more distant pregnancies as well."

A surprising finding was evidence of a protective effect of pregnancy as well, since the expression of many hormone and growth factor signaling genes suggests protection. These findings indicate that a balance between high risk inflammatory and protective hormone signaling gene expression may ultimately determine a woman's individual breast cancer risk, she said.

The researchers were not only interested in determining whether pregnancy and involution are associated with gene expression changes in the normal breast, but whether such changes stay for a short period of time or are permanent, Tonetti said.

The study is among the first to use samples from normal breast tissue to determine whether there is a time-dependent effect on breast cancer risk, she said.

The results will help understand the mechanisms behind pregnancy-associated breast cancer and will indicate potentially effective prevention strategies for women at high risk, such as use of anti-inflammatory agents. In addition, more effective therapeutic approaches may be developed based on the specific molecular pathways involved, Tonetti said.

The findings are published in the March issue of the journal Cancer Prevention Research. The study was funded through a grant from Avon Products Foundation.

Other authors, all from UIC, include Szilard Asztalos and Megan Hayes of the department of biopharmaceutical sciences; Peter Gann, Larisa Nonn and Elizabeth Wiley of the department of pathology; Craig Beam of the department of epidemiology and biostatistics; and Yang Dai of the department of bioengineering.

Sam Hostettler | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uic.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

nachricht Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

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...

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

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>