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 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 >>>