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 Topologische Quantenchemie
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

nachricht Topological Quantum Chemistry
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>