Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protein found to protect breast cancer tumors from chemotherapy

24.08.2006
Finding may help women get more effective treatment

About half of women whose breast cancer is treated with standard chemotherapy have their cancer return within five years. Most chemotherapeutic drugs have undesirable side effects, but there has been no way to predict who would benefit and who wouldn't. Fortunately, new research findings at the University of Southern California could change that.

Researchers at the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered a new biological marker in tumors that can help indicate whether a woman's breast cancer will respond to the most commonly prescribed chemotherapy drugs.

Amy S. Lee, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, isolated the gene for the GRP78 protein (78-kDA glucose-regulated protein) in 1980. It normally helps protect cells from dying, particularly when they are under stress from a lack of glucose. In her current research, Lee finds that breast cancer tumors with high levels of GRP78 are protected from a common chemotherapy regimen based on Adriamycin, a topoisomerase inhibitor. Her findings are published as a "Priority Report" in the August 15 issue of Cancer Research.

"The importance of this study is in its potential to help clinicians who treat cancer," Lee says. "It will help sort out the patients who won't respond to particular treatment regimens and will have a higher chance of cancer recurrence."

Lee and her colleagues analyzed records of 432 women with Stage II or III breast cancer treated at the USC/Norris Cancer Hospital, of whom 209 received Adriamycin-based chemotherapy. Tumor samples were collected from 127 of the women before they received chemotherapy. The samples were analyzed using antibodies to detect and stain GRP78 protein. Review of the samples under a microscope showed that two-thirds (67 percent) of the tumors tested had high levels of GRP78.

Subsequent analysis of the patients' records showed that women whose tumors had higher levels of GRP78 were more likely to have had the cancer recur. That was particularly likely if the women received Adriamycin-based chemotherapy and no further treatment with the chemotherapy drug taxane, regardless of their tumor stage. Likewise, women who had mastectomies followed by Adriamycin-based therapy were more likely to have the cancer return if their tumors had elevated levels of GRP78, compared to identically treated patients with low level of GRP78.

Conversely, the study also suggests that women who received Adriamycin-based therapy followed by additional treatment with taxane had a lower risk of cancer recurrence if their tumors had elevated levels of GRP78.

Lee hopes others will confirm her findings in subsequent research, and that it will eventually lead to a standard laboratory test that can screen all women diagnosed with breast cancer. "GRP78 will be one more bio-marker to help us offer designer medicine – treatments that are tailored to the patient's cancer instead of one-size-fits-all," Lee says.

The study is anticipated to have broad implications since other types of cancers have also been found to have elevated levels of GRP78. To that end, Lee is also collaborating with USC/Norris pathologist Richard Cote, M.D., on a study of the protein's role in prostate cancer.

Lee says the access to specialists from various disciplines was essential. "This research could not have happened without the collaborative environment at the USC/ Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center," she says. Lee's interdisciplinary research team included clinical oncologist Darcy Spicer, M.D., pathologist Peter Nichols, M.D., epidemiologist Mimi C. Yu, Ph.D., biostatistician Susan Groshen, Ph.D., and epidemiology Ph.D. student Eunjung Lee.

Kathleen O'Neil | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.usc.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Warming ponds could accelerate climate change
21.02.2017 | University of Exeter

nachricht An alternative to opioids? Compound from marine snail is potent pain reliever
21.02.2017 | University of Utah

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed

21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Novel breast tomosynthesis technique reduces screening recall rate

21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Use your Voice – and Smart Homes will “LISTEN”

21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>