Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gene found in 90 percent of breast cancers may be cancer vaccine target

26.07.2005


A gene that appears to help regulate normal embryonic development is found at high levels in virtually all forms of breast cancer, according to a new study led by Laszlo Radvanyi, Ph.D., associate professor of breast and melanoma medical oncology at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.



The finding, published in the Aug. 2, 2005, issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and available on-line July 25, shows that the gene, normally made in small amounts in normal breast tissue, somehow becomes over-expressed in breast cancer cells. Researchers hope to use the cancer-specific protein to train the immune system to specifically attack breast cancer cells.

"There is a tremendous need for new molecular targets to treat breast cancer," Radvanyi says. "There are very few bona fide targets that are exquisitely specific for breast cancer. We believe this is one of them."


Radvanyi and his collaborators at Sanofi Pasteur, Toronto, Canada, zeroed in on the gene, called TRPS-1, after an exhaustive search for targets that are found at higher levels in breast cancer than in normal tissue. The researchers compared the gene levels of more than 50,000 known genes in 54 breast cancer specimens and 289 normal samples representing 75 tissues or organs. The breast cancer specimens included 10 examples of early breast cancer or ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), 38 locally invasive breast cancers and six representing metastatic disease. They narrowed down their search by eliminating genes commonly found in normal tissue and those predicted to encode proteins that are excreted from the cell.

"We were interested in identifying proteins that could be potential tumor antigens activating cytotoxic T-cells or tumor killer cells," Radvanyi says. "We wanted proteins that would make good targets for a cancer vaccine."

Finally, they zeroed in on TRPS-1, a gene they found at high levels in all forms of breast cancer, from DCIS to invasive disease, but in none of the normal tissues tested, except for low levels found in normal breast tissue.

The TRPS-1 gene turned out to be associated with a rare, inherited genetic disease in which loss of the gene function results in muscle and bone deformities. The gene is located on human chromosome 8 in a region previously known to be associated with breast cancer and other oncogenes. The scientists don’t yet know what the TRPS-1 protein is doing during the development of breast cancer, but they have started gathering clues to its role. Scientists at other institutions have shown TRPS-1 is a DNA-binding protein that regulates how other proteins get produced. It also appears to be involved in recognition of steroids such as estrogen. Radvanyi speculates that the protein may help regulate cell growth and perhaps estrogen recognition.

"Based on our findings, we believe that TRPS-1 is involved in the earliest stages of breast cancer," he says.

The success of the breast cancer drug Herceptin, an antibody that specifically attacks breast cancer cells in which the Her2/neu gene is active, has made immunotherapy an attractive option for treating breast cancer. However, only about one-third of breast cancer patients are candidates for Herceptin treatment. Radvanyi’s technique does not use antibodies, but instead attempts to get powerful immune system cells called T-cells to attack the cancer cells.

Once they had identified TRPS-1, the researchers wanted to test its ability to act as an antigen, a protein that could prime the immune system to attack breast cancer cells. They used portions of the TRPS-1 protein as antigens to train human T-cells to attack cells containing TRPS-1. T-cells are white blood cells of the immune system that recognize and destroy bacteria, viruses and other foreign tissue. The scientists showed T-cells trained to detect TRPS-1 would attack and kill breast cancer cells containing the protein in laboratory experiments.

"This is exciting because TRPS-1 appears to be over-expressed only in cancers and not in normal tissue," Radvanyi says. "This makes it much less likely that normal tissue would be attacked in an immunotherapy setting."

The researchers’ next steps will be to test more patient samples at M. D. Anderson and try to correlate levels of TRPS-1 to other known breast cancer markers, such as HER2/neu and the estrogen receptor. They also want to understand what the protein’s targets are inside the cell.

"If we understand its targets, we might be able to design inhibitors that disrupt its action, which could be clinically important given its early appearance in breast cancer," Radvanyi says.

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

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Building a brain, cell by cell: Researchers make a mini neuron network (of two)
23.05.2018 | Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo

nachricht Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals
23.05.2018 | Brown University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Space-like gravity weakens biochemical signals in muscle formation

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

NIST puts the optical microscope under the microscope to achieve atomic accuracy

23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>