Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cell marker identifies patients who are more likely to respond to taxol

09.12.2004


Researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have found a potential predictor of response to the chemotherapy drug Taxol, which is commonly used before or after surgery for stage I-III breast cancers, even though only a subset of women ultimately benefit from this treatment.



Patients whose breast cancer cells have lost their ability to express a protein called "tau" are twice as likely to have a good response to Taxol treatment, the researchers report at the annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium meeting.

The finding makes sense because tau promotes the assembly of microtubules, which provide structure to the cell and help it divide. Taxol works by binding to microtubules to form an inappropriately stable structure which ultimately leads to cell death. "In the absence of tau, Taxol stabilizes microtubules more easily," says the study’s lead researcher, Lajos Pusztai, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology.


If validated in larger studies, the finding suggests that tumor tissue could be screened to predict if it will respond to Taxol, says Pusztai. "If it doesn’t, perhaps other chemotherapy regimens would work better."

The results also suggest a way to improve the use of Taxol, Pusztai says. "If you block the effect of tau with an agent, you could possibly increase the effectiveness of Taxol in more patients, making them super responders."

The researchers came up with their discovery after examining breast cancer biopsy samples taken from 82 patients, 21 of whom had a complete disappearance of their cancer after Taxol-containing treatment. They looked at the difference between these responders and non-responders in 22,000 genes, and found that tumors were highly sensitive to treatment that had low levels of tau messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in their cancer cells. This observation was confirmed by examining tau protein expression using a routine pathological assay, immunohistochemistry, in 122 additional patients. Then, research in breast cancer cell lines in the laboratory were undertaken to look at how low expression of tau leads to increased sensitivity to Taxol.

Pusztai says that about 25 percent of all patients show very high sensitivity to the Taxol-containing chemotherapy, and respond with complete disappearance of cancer after treatment.

"Assessment of tau expression at the time of diagnosis could identify a group of patients who are at least twice as likely to have high sensitivity to the treatment," he says. "The rest of the patients may not benefit much from the drug because none of the patients who had high levels of tau mRNA expression in their cancer experienced complete response to therapy.

Before routine use of such a test can be recommended, investigators say these findings will need to be examined in a larger, randomized study to accurately determine the clinical value of tau as a predictive marker.

Nancy Jensen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mdanderson.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

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...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

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...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

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...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>