"We have found that gene expression patterns in a subset of these resistant cancer cells differ from those associated with the bulk of the epithelial cells in the tumor. These patterns resemble expression patterns more closely associated with cells with a mesenchymal (a form of connective tissue) phenotype (or appearance)," said Dr. Jenny Chang (http://www.bcm.edu/breastcenter/?PMID=10728), medical director of the Sue and Lester Smith Breast Center (http://www.bcm.edu/cancercenter/) at BCM and a professor of medicine. Chang is a senior author of the paper along with Drs. Michael Lewis and Jeffrey M. Rosen, both of BCM and the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center (http://www.bcm.edu/cancercenter/) as well as the Breast Center.
In a previous paper, the authors showed that after patients received conventional chemotherapy, the remaining tumor contained a higher percentage of tumor-initiating cells, also known as breast cancer stem cells. These remaining tumor-initiating cells were therefore largely resistant to conventional treatments.
They found that gene expression patterns in these chemoresistant cells represented a tumor-initiating gene signature, which was not only more easily detectable in a newly-defined breast cancer subtype called "claudin-low", but also enriched in human breast tumors after they had been treated with anti-cancer drugs that target the signals of hormones, said Chang. They also found that genes associated with the mesenchymal cell phenotype were increased in breast tumors after hormone treatment.
"This study supports a growing body of evidence that there is a particular subpopulation of cells in breast cancer that may be responsible for disease recurrence, resistance to treatment, and perhaps metastasis (cancer spread)," said Chang.
In the future, she said, the group will be looking at ways to use the gene signature they have identified to develop drugs that can combine with conventional therapy to eradicate all populations of cells within tumors.
Others who took part in this research include Chad J. Creighton, Xiaoxian Li, Melissa Landis, Helen Wong, Angel Rodriguez, Jason I. Herschkowitz, Xiamoei Zhang, Anne Pavlick, M. Carolina Gutierrez, and Susan G. Hilsenbeck, all of the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at BCM; J. Michael Dixon, Lorna Renshaw, Alexey A. Larionov and Dana Faratian of Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, UK;Veronique M. Neumeister, Ashley Sjohund, David L. Rimm and Xiaping He, all of Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, CT; Cheng Fan and Charles M. Perou, both of Unversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Funding for this study came from the Breast Cancer Research Fundation, the Helis Foundation, the National Cancer Institute Breast Cancer Special Program of Research Excellence, the National Cancer Institute, the Breakthrough Research Unit in Edinburgh, Cancer Research UK, the National Institutes of Health, Glaxo Smith Kline and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.
For more information on basic science research at Baylor College of Medicine, please go to www.bcm.edu/fromthelab or www.bcm.edu/news.
Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution
27.03.2017 | Lancaster University
Parallel computation provides deeper insight into brain function
27.03.2017 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences