Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Discovery leads to rapid mouse 'personalized trials' in breast cancer

09.09.2009
One person's breast cancer is not the same as another person's, because the gene mutations differ in each tumor. That makes it difficult to match the best therapy with the individual patient.

Using a finding that the genetic complexity of tumors in mice parallels that in humans, researchers at the Duke University Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy and Duke University Medical Center are starting trial studies in mice, just like human clinical trials, to evaluate whether understanding tumor diversity can improve cancer treatment.

"Giving everyone the same few current treatments doesn't take the very different types of tumors into account," said Joseph Nevins, Ph.D., Barbara Levine University Professor of Breast Cancer Genomics at Duke, who directs the Center for Applied Genomics & Technology at Duke. "It's like trying to treat a virus infection without recognizing that it may be HIV, influenza or cold virus."

For a study appearing this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nevins and colleagues painstakingly examined a large number of mouse breast tumors and performed genomic analyses to differentiate the tumors.

"The genetic pathways in the tumors determine the sensitivity to drugs," Nevins said. "We still have so much to learn about this."

All of the mice were bred to have a Myc gene variant that gave them tumors; however, additional gene mutations are acquired that contribute to the development of the tumor, including mutations in the Ras gene and others. The spectrum of tumor variation at the genetic level mimicked the complexity of human cancers.

"If we are going to successfully treat a tumor, we must recognize the extensive heterogeneity of what we call breast cancer and match drugs carefully to the characteristics of that particular tumor," Nevins said. "Today breast tumors may be sorted by whether they are estrogen-sensitive or HER-2 sensitive, but that is about the extent of it. We are performing human trials to look at the underlying biological pathways and examine how best to match therapies with the individual patient. But, these are lengthy studies. Now we can develop new strategies to match a therapy with a mouse tumor subtype and have results in a much shorter period of time."

Nevins and colleagues plan to conduct trials in the mice just as they would in humans: find the tumor, perform a needle biopsy, learn all they can about the tumor, and match it to a drug based on scientific data. The mouse studies don't replace human trials, but they can be an important component of advancing a strategy, Nevins said.

"This work highlights the importance of both biological and computational model systems to unravel the complexities and heterogeneity of human cancer," said Daniel Gallahan, Ph.D., program director for the Integrative Cancer Biology Program at the National Cancer Institute. "This type of analysis can be exploited to better align a therapeutic strategy with an individual's specific cancer."

Running parallel to human trials, the mouse trials will show what works well and what doesn't in the trial methods, data collection, analysis and other aspects of the trials. Researchers can then translate these findings immediately to keep the human clinical trials advancing as effectively as possible.

With so much mouse model research happening around the globe, why weren't these mouse tumor differences noted before? The gene expression analyses performed on mouse tumors simply haven't been large enough, Nevins said.

"We examined a large number, up to 80 samples of mouse tumors. And in the same way that a picture gets clearer when you add more pixels, the information about the tumors became clearer as we examined more samples," he said. "In effect, we went to a higher resolution and could begin to see patterns more clearly."

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the V Foundation for Cancer Research, named in honor of the late North Carolina State basketball coach Jim Valvano.

Other authors include Eran R. Andrechek, Jeffrey T. Chang, Michael L. Gatza, Chaitanya R. Acharya, and Anil Potti of the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy, and Robert D. Cardiff of the Center for Comparative Medicine at the University of California at Davis.

Mary Jane Gore | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.duke.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells
19.07.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY

nachricht NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>