Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists find a way to detect which breast abnormalities may develop into cancer

20.03.2002


Scientists at the Royal Liverpool University Hospitals in the UK have found a way of testing whether certain abnormalities in a woman’s breast are likely to go on to develop into breast cancer, the 3rd European Breast Cancer Conference in Barcelona heard today (Wednesday 20 March).



Armed with information from the test, doctors could then consider whether the at-risk women should be offered prophylactic anti-oestrogen treatment such as tamoxifen or more frequent screening.

However, Dr Abeer M. Shaaban, a Specialist Registrar in the hospital’s department of Cellular and Molecular Pathology, warned that, while the test itself was fairly straightforward to do, it might be many years before it could lead to the development of prophylactic treatments, especially as clinical trials are still being run to test the effectiveness of anti-oestrogens such as tamoxifen in preventing breast cancer.


Hyperplasia of usual type (HUT) is a benign abnormality in the breast. Although it is formed by cell proliferation, it is not cancer, but it is associated with a slightly increased risk of cancer developing subsequently. Women who have HUT have a risk of developing breast cancer of between 1.5 and 2 times that of the general population. Normally HUT cannot be detected by self-examination, and is usually spotted during screening and diagnosed following a biopsy.

Dr Shaaban, working with Professor Christopher S. Foster, head of the hospital’s Pathology Laboratories, studied 674 biopsies from a 20-year period between 1979 and 1999 to see whether those samples that belonged to patients who had subsequently developed breast cancer contained different biological signals to samples from women who did not develop cancer. The biopsies included cases from 120 women who subsequently developed cancer and 382 who did not during the 20-year follow-up.

She found that in samples from women who had developed breast cancer subsequently, there was a high proportion of cells with receptors for the signals given out by ER alpha (an oestrogen receptor protein), Ki-67 (a nuclear protein which is only expressed in dividing cells), and hsp27 (an oestrogen-related heat shock protein).

Dr Shaaban said: “Our data show that there are clear differences between various types of HUT. By identifying those cases of HUT which show a high proportion of cells which have positive signals for ER alpha, Ki-67 and hsp27, it is possible to point to a subset of women with HUT who are at high risk of developing breast cancer.

“This study is an early step on the way to refining breast cancer risk. HUT has been reported increasingly since the advent of mammography. By identifying lesions likely to progress to breast cancer early in patients` lifetimes, prophylactic anti-oestrogen therapy could be offered to this particularly high-risk group. Moreover, for those who prove not to be at high risk, regular mammographic screening might not be a necessity. However, several years of clinical trials with long follow-up periods lie ahead before anti-oestrogens could be used as an effective preventive tool.”

Emma Mason | alphagalileo
Further information:
http://www.fecs.be/Conferences/ebcc3

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

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: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

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

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>