Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cell marker identifies patients who are more likely to respond to taxol

09.12.2004


Researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have found a potential predictor of response to the chemotherapy drug Taxol, which is commonly used before or after surgery for stage I-III breast cancers, even though only a subset of women ultimately benefit from this treatment.



Patients whose breast cancer cells have lost their ability to express a protein called "tau" are twice as likely to have a good response to Taxol treatment, the researchers report at the annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium meeting.

The finding makes sense because tau promotes the assembly of microtubules, which provide structure to the cell and help it divide. Taxol works by binding to microtubules to form an inappropriately stable structure which ultimately leads to cell death. "In the absence of tau, Taxol stabilizes microtubules more easily," says the study’s lead researcher, Lajos Pusztai, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology.


If validated in larger studies, the finding suggests that tumor tissue could be screened to predict if it will respond to Taxol, says Pusztai. "If it doesn’t, perhaps other chemotherapy regimens would work better."

The results also suggest a way to improve the use of Taxol, Pusztai says. "If you block the effect of tau with an agent, you could possibly increase the effectiveness of Taxol in more patients, making them super responders."

The researchers came up with their discovery after examining breast cancer biopsy samples taken from 82 patients, 21 of whom had a complete disappearance of their cancer after Taxol-containing treatment. They looked at the difference between these responders and non-responders in 22,000 genes, and found that tumors were highly sensitive to treatment that had low levels of tau messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in their cancer cells. This observation was confirmed by examining tau protein expression using a routine pathological assay, immunohistochemistry, in 122 additional patients. Then, research in breast cancer cell lines in the laboratory were undertaken to look at how low expression of tau leads to increased sensitivity to Taxol.

Pusztai says that about 25 percent of all patients show very high sensitivity to the Taxol-containing chemotherapy, and respond with complete disappearance of cancer after treatment.

"Assessment of tau expression at the time of diagnosis could identify a group of patients who are at least twice as likely to have high sensitivity to the treatment," he says. "The rest of the patients may not benefit much from the drug because none of the patients who had high levels of tau mRNA expression in their cancer experienced complete response to therapy.

Before routine use of such a test can be recommended, investigators say these findings will need to be examined in a larger, randomized study to accurately determine the clinical value of tau as a predictive marker.

Nancy Jensen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mdanderson.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

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

nachricht Pollen taxi for bacteria
18.07.2018 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

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....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

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

NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts

18.07.2018 | Life Sciences

Machine-learning predicted a superhard and high-energy-density tungsten nitride

18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Why might reading make myopic?

18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>