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 Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>