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 Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'
16.11.2018 | Purdue University

nachricht Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal
14.11.2018 | Michigan Technological 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: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>