Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Northwestern’s cancer genetics program finds gene variants that greatly increase breast cancer risk

15.04.2005


Decreased activity within the Transforming Growth Factor Beta (TGF-beta) pathway is associated with increased breast cancer risk, according to a study published by researchers at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University’s Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center in today’s Cancer Research journal. This is the first study aimed at determining whether various combinations of two naturally-occurring variants of the TGF-beta pathway may predict breast cancer risk. It is also the first study assessing a cancer-related pathway by means of two functionally-relevant variants.



Blood tests were performed on 660 patients with breast cancer and 880 healthy females for two TGF-beta variants: TGFBR1*6A and TGFB1 T29C. "Our study shows that TGFBR1*6A is associated with a 120 percent increased risk of breast cancer among women older than 50," says study author Boris Pasche, MD, PhD, FACP, director of Northwestern’s Cancer Genetics Program and assistant professor of Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. "Importantly, the results show that women with the lowest levels of TGF-beta activity have a 69 percent higher risk of breast cancer than women with the highest levels of TGF-beta activity as predicted by the combination of the two variants TGFBR1*6A and TGFB1 T29C. This finding is promising as it may eventually help us predict breast cancer risk in a large subset of the population. Indeed, breast cancer risk may be predicted in 30 percent of women through assessment of the TGFBR1*6A and TGFB1 T29C variants."

Mutated genes like TGFBR1*6A and the better-known cancer susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, alter cells in a way that causes them either to grow faster or become cancerous. Dr. Pasche says while BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have been implicated in an estimated 3 to 7 percent of all breast and ovarian cancer cases, studying TGFBR1*6A is important because it is a far more common gene as one in every eight individual carries at least one copy of this gene. The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are found only in one of every 400 to 800 people. The impact of TGFBR1*6A is shown by the fact that in 2005 more than 14,000 new cases of breast cancers in the US alone may be attributable to TGFBR1*6A.


"Most cases of breast, ovarian and colon cancers are caused by damage to the genes that builds up over a lifetime, but some people are born with a high risk of the disease," explains Dr. Pasche. "When inherited, the TGFBR1*6A gene makes people susceptible to having certain cells grow and divide uncontrollably, which may contribute to cancer development."

Northwestern researchers collaborated with researchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Columbia University and New York University in New York. All of the study participants were seen at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. Currently, Northwestern Memorial and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York are the only medical centers in the country performing clinical studies of the TGFBR1*6A gene.

"In the near future, it will be commonplace for people to know what genes make them more susceptible to cancer, and we’ll have many more options for preventing those cancers," says Dr. Pasche. Northwestern’s Cancer Genetics Program is a comprehensive cancer genetics program that provides cancer predictive gene testing and genetic counseling. TGFBR1*6A testing is currently only offered at Northwestern as part of a research protocol at the Cancer Genetics Program, but Dr. Pasche predicts that testing for this gene will enter the mainstream of genetic testing in the near future. Virginia Kaklamani M.D., an oncologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and assistant professor of medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine, is the first author of the study. She adds, "The testing of TGFBR1*6A is not ready for primetime yet. We still have to understand its role in relation with other genes that we commonly test for, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2. "However, in the foreseeable future, we may be able to identify high-risk women more precisely because of the TGFBR1*6A mutation and prevent many cases of breast cancer."

Amanda Widtfeldt | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nmh.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Two Group A Streptococcus genes linked to 'flesh-eating' bacterial infections
25.09.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fraunhofer ISE Pushes World Record for Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells to 22.3 Percent

25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance

25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

An international team of physicists a coherent amplification effect in laser excited dielectrics

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>