Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A Role For Prolactin In Breast Cancer

Date:
September 23, 1998
Source:
University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center
Summary:
Under normal circumstances, the hormone prolactin is responsible for stimulating breast tissue growth and differentiation at several times during a woman's life -- during puberty, pregnancy, and lactation. Unfortunately, it can also stimulate the growth of breast cancers that may arise.

Under normal circumstances, the hormone prolactin is responsible for stimulating breast tissue growth and differentiation at several times during a woman's life -- during puberty, pregnancy, and lactation. Unfortunately, it can also stimulate the growth of breast cancers that may arise, according to Charles V. Clevenger, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine. Additionally, recent results from Clevenger's laboratory suggest that prolactin's role in the disease may be much greater than previously thought.

Scientists examining breast cancer tissues in the past estimated that between 20 and 60 percent of these cancers expressed the receptor for prolactin, meaning that they would be responsive to the stimulatory effects of the hormone. Using improved techniques, Clevenger's team has found that a much higher proportion of breast cancers -- more than 95 percent -- express the prolactin receptor. Also, prolactin is known to be secreted by the pituitary gland, and for many years it was assumed that this gland was the only source for the hormone. Clevenger's laboratory, however, has shown that breast tissue itself produces prolactin in significant quantities. "Not only do most mammary tissues make their own prolactin, but so do most breast cancers," Clevenger notes.

Coupled with the newly demonstrated prevalence of the prolactin receptor, the findings suggest that prolactin is likely serving to stimulate the growth of these cancers in most cases. While the news may not appear to be positive, it does present an opportunity for the development of important new therapies.

"If we can find a way to block prolactin from binding to its receptor, we may be able to induce regression in breast tumors," Clevenger says. "They might stop growing, and they might even die." And, unlike some other hormone-based therapies for breast cancer, such as the new drug herceptin, which is useful in only a minority of patients, treatments focusing on prolactin and its receptor would benefit the majority of women with breast cancers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center. "A Role For Prolactin In Breast Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 September 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980923073259.htm>.
University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center. (1998, September 23). A Role For Prolactin In Breast Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980923073259.htm
University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center. "A Role For Prolactin In Breast Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980923073259.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins