Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Discovery leads to rapid mouse 'personalized trials' in breast cancer

09.09.2009
One person's breast cancer is not the same as another person's, because the gene mutations differ in each tumor. That makes it difficult to match the best therapy with the individual patient.

Using a finding that the genetic complexity of tumors in mice parallels that in humans, researchers at the Duke University Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy and Duke University Medical Center are starting trial studies in mice, just like human clinical trials, to evaluate whether understanding tumor diversity can improve cancer treatment.

"Giving everyone the same few current treatments doesn't take the very different types of tumors into account," said Joseph Nevins, Ph.D., Barbara Levine University Professor of Breast Cancer Genomics at Duke, who directs the Center for Applied Genomics & Technology at Duke. "It's like trying to treat a virus infection without recognizing that it may be HIV, influenza or cold virus."

For a study appearing this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nevins and colleagues painstakingly examined a large number of mouse breast tumors and performed genomic analyses to differentiate the tumors.

"The genetic pathways in the tumors determine the sensitivity to drugs," Nevins said. "We still have so much to learn about this."

All of the mice were bred to have a Myc gene variant that gave them tumors; however, additional gene mutations are acquired that contribute to the development of the tumor, including mutations in the Ras gene and others. The spectrum of tumor variation at the genetic level mimicked the complexity of human cancers.

"If we are going to successfully treat a tumor, we must recognize the extensive heterogeneity of what we call breast cancer and match drugs carefully to the characteristics of that particular tumor," Nevins said. "Today breast tumors may be sorted by whether they are estrogen-sensitive or HER-2 sensitive, but that is about the extent of it. We are performing human trials to look at the underlying biological pathways and examine how best to match therapies with the individual patient. But, these are lengthy studies. Now we can develop new strategies to match a therapy with a mouse tumor subtype and have results in a much shorter period of time."

Nevins and colleagues plan to conduct trials in the mice just as they would in humans: find the tumor, perform a needle biopsy, learn all they can about the tumor, and match it to a drug based on scientific data. The mouse studies don't replace human trials, but they can be an important component of advancing a strategy, Nevins said.

"This work highlights the importance of both biological and computational model systems to unravel the complexities and heterogeneity of human cancer," said Daniel Gallahan, Ph.D., program director for the Integrative Cancer Biology Program at the National Cancer Institute. "This type of analysis can be exploited to better align a therapeutic strategy with an individual's specific cancer."

Running parallel to human trials, the mouse trials will show what works well and what doesn't in the trial methods, data collection, analysis and other aspects of the trials. Researchers can then translate these findings immediately to keep the human clinical trials advancing as effectively as possible.

With so much mouse model research happening around the globe, why weren't these mouse tumor differences noted before? The gene expression analyses performed on mouse tumors simply haven't been large enough, Nevins said.

"We examined a large number, up to 80 samples of mouse tumors. And in the same way that a picture gets clearer when you add more pixels, the information about the tumors became clearer as we examined more samples," he said. "In effect, we went to a higher resolution and could begin to see patterns more clearly."

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the V Foundation for Cancer Research, named in honor of the late North Carolina State basketball coach Jim Valvano.

Other authors include Eran R. Andrechek, Jeffrey T. Chang, Michael L. Gatza, Chaitanya R. Acharya, and Anil Potti of the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy, and Robert D. Cardiff of the Center for Comparative Medicine at the University of California at Davis.

Mary Jane Gore | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.duke.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht One step closer to reality
20.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie

nachricht The dark side of cichlid fish: from cannibal to caregiver
20.04.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>