"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.
Studying mitosis' structure to understand the inside of cancer cells
19.02.2018 | Biophysical Society
Calcium may play a role in the development of Parkinson's disease
19.02.2018 | University of Cambridge
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
19.02.2018 | Information Technology
19.02.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
19.02.2018 | Life Sciences