It took 12 years and a creation of a highly sophisticated transgenic mouse, but researchers at Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson have finally proven a long suspected theory: Inflammation in the breast is key to the development and progression of breast cancer.
In the December 15 issue of Cancer Research, the scientists say they can now definitively show that an inflammatory process within the breast itself promotes growth of breast cancer stem cells responsible for tumor development.
They also demonstrate that inactivating this inflammation selectively within the breast reduced activity of these stem cells, and stopped breast cancer from forming.
"These studies show for the first time that inactivating the NFKB inflammatory pathway in the breast epithelium blocks the onset and progression of breast cancer in living animals," says Richard G. Pestell, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Kimmel Cancer Center and Chairman of Cancer Biology.
"This finding has clinical implications," says co-author Michael Lisanti, Leader of the Program in Molecular Biology and Genetics of Cancer at Jefferson. "Suppressing the whole body's inflammatory process has side effects. These studies provide the rationale for more selective anti-inflammatory therapy directed just to the breast."
Dr. Pestell and his colleagues show the "canonical" NFKB pathway promotes breast cancer development: the first "insult" is provided by the HER2 oncogene, which then activates NFKB (nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells). NFKB turns on inflammation via tumor-associated macrophages (TAM), which produce tumor growth promoting factors.
Although inflammation, mediated by NFKB, has long been thought to be important in breast cancer development, the theory had been untestable because NF-êB is essential to embryonic development, Dr. Pestell says. "When you try to knock out NFKB genes in mice, they die."
He addressed this problem by creating a mouse in which the inflammatory system within the adult animal's normal breast could be regulated. This allows selective inactivation of NFKB in different cell types and took 12 years to accomplish, Dr. Pestell says. "These mice have five co-integrated transgenes."
The mice are programmed to develop breast cancer, but the researchers found that if they selectively blocked inflammation just in the breast, tumors would not develop. "This is a very novel finding," Dr. Pestell says.
They then demonstrated that this inactivation also reduced the number of cancer stem cells in the breast. "That told us that inflammation, through the action of NF-êB, is important to the growth and activity of cancer stem cells," Dr. Pestell says. "The transgenic mice are a new technology that can be used by the scientists and the pharmaceutical industry to understand the role of NFKB in different diseases including heart disease, neurodegeneration and other cancers."
The study was funded by support from the National Institutes of Health, the Dr. Ralph and Marian C. Falk Medical Research Trust, and a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
Researchers from the Nigata University of Pharmacy and Applied Life Sciences in Japan, the National Cancer Institute, the University of Western Australia, and the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical School contributed to the study.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Ed Federico | EurekAlert!
Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator
23.02.2018 | University of Turku
Minimising risks of transplants
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy