"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.
Researchers uncover protein-based “cancer signature”
05.12.2016 | Universität Basel
The Nagoya Protocol Creates Disadvantages for Many Countries when Applied to Microorganisms
05.12.2016 | Leibniz-Institut DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH
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...
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...
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...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences
05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering