Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protein That Predicts Tamoxifen Resistance is Identified

05.12.2003


Kimberly Blackwell, M.D.


Researchers at the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified a protein that breast cancer tumors over-produce when they become resistant to the drug tamoxifen. The researchers said their finding could help them predict which tumors will benefit from tamoxifen -- the front-line drug used to treat operable breast cancer -- and which tumors won’t.

Future studies will be able to determine if tumors that over-produce this protein, called MTA-1, could be treated with a different hormonal therapy following their initial treatment with surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation, said Kimberly Blackwell, M.D., assistant professor of oncology at the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Blackwell will present her team’s findings on Dec. 4 at the 26th annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.



Their latest findings supports last year’s discovery, reported at the same annual meeting, in which Blackwell demonstrated that tamoxifen-resistant tumors actually change their cellular characteristics to become responsive to other types of drugs. Blackwell says that elevated levels of MTA-1 represent one of these cellular changes in tumors that stop responding to tamoxifen.

"MTA-1 is just one of the proteins that plays a role in tamoxifen resistance, but it is one important step toward helping us better target our therapies toward each woman’s particular type of tumor," said Blackwell. "Theoretically, we could biopsy women at the time of diagnosis and select an alternative drug to tamoxifen if their tumors over-express MTA-1."

Furthermore, she said, MTA-1 is known to be a predictor of poor prognosis and the potential for breast cancer metastasis, so that testing for its presence prior to treatment could help them devise more aggressive strategies from the outset.

In years past, tamoxifen was the only option to help prevent breast cancers from recurring in women with estrogen-positive tumors, said Blackwell. But a percentage of women develop resistance to the drug.

To better understand this phenomenon, Blackwell and colleagues developed a strain of mice whose tumors eventually became resistant to tamoxifen. Once tamoxifen resistance was achieved, they conducted a gene array analysis to determine which genes were over-expressed in the new tumor line. They identified 20 different such genes, and found that MTA-1 was a gene that was strongly over-expressed in the tamoxifen-resistant tumors.

To date, scientists have found only a few other genes or proteins over-expressed in tamoxifen-resistant tumors, making the new discovery an important one for determining how a tumor will respond to treatment.

"We have a multitude of hormonally based drugs at our disposal that are designed to treat or prevent breast cancer and its recurrence," said Blackwell. "Our ultimate goal is to test tumors at the time of diagnosis to determine what their molecular signatures are and then to select the best therapy aimed at treating the tumor."

Other authors on the research team, all from Duke, include Mark Dewhirst, Ph.D., Donald McDonnell, Ph.D., Holly Dressman, M.D., Stacey A. Snyder, and Jeffrey R. Marks, Ph.D.

Becky Levine | dukemed news
Further information:
http://dukemednews.org/news/article.php?id=7268

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center

nachricht Study advances gene therapy for glaucoma
17.01.2018 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Polymers Based on Boron?

18.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

18.01.2018 | Life Sciences

World’s oldest known oxygen oasis discovered

18.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>