Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Biomarker Predicts Effectiveness Of Breast Cancer Drugs

Date:
December 12, 2006
Source:
University of Cincinnati
Summary:
University of Cincinnati researchers have identified a new way to predict when anti-estrogen drug therapies are inappropriate for patients with hormone-dependent breast cancer. Scientists say these findings could help physicians more accurately predict which tumors will respond to anti-estrogen therapy and improve long-term survival for breast cancer patients.

Erik Knudsen, PhD, is an associate professor of cell and cancer biology.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Cincinnati

University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers have identified a new way to predict when anti-estrogen drug therapies are inappropriate for patients with hormone-dependent breast cancer.

The team's leader, Erik Knudsen, PhD, says the findings could help physicians more accurately predict which tumors will respond to anti-estrogen therapy and improve long-term survival for breast cancer patients.

"If we know upfront that a patient's cancer will resist traditional anti-estrogen therapies," Knudsen says, "physicians can immediately begin treating the patient with alternative drugs that are more likely to succeed."

The UC researchers found that when a pathway controlling cell growth known as the retinoblastoma (RB) tumor suppressor is disrupted or "shut off," the tumor resists anti-estrogen drugs and the cancer continues to grow in spite of the therapy. They report their findings in the January edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Anti-estrogen drugs such as tamoxifen (Novaldex) are a standard treatment for hormone-dependent breast cancer. They work by blocking the estrogen action, which is required for the proliferation of most breast cancers. Although these drugs are effective in the beginning, says Knudsen, many patients who initially respond to this treatment eventually develop a resistance to it.

"Since evidence shows anti-estrogen drugs will fail in a many patients with estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer," says Knudsen, "our research suggests that physicians should examine both estrogen receptor status and RB tumor suppressor status during the initial diagnosis, in order to prescribe the most effective therapy for that specific patient's cancer."

According to the National Cancer Institute, about two-thirds of women with breast cancer have estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer, in which tumor growth is regulated by the natural female hormone estrogen. Previous research has shown that estrogen promotes the growth of most types of breast cancer.

"The RB tumor suppressor is a fundamental regulator of cell proliferation in the body, so we can use its actions as a biomarker for how tumors will respond to anti-estrogen therapy," explains Knudsen. "It could become the basis for deciding how patients with estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer are treated clinically."

In this one-year laboratory study, Knudsen and his team used a specialized technique to disrupt the RB suppression pathway in breast cancer cells and analyzed the impact on tumor growth using animal models. The researchers then compared their results with a large patient record database to determine if the same phenomenon was occurring in patients with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Studies supported their hypothesis that RB may be a critical determinant of whether a tumor will respond to anti-estrogen therapy.

Knudsen stresses that comprehensive clinical research is needed before this new method for predicting the success of anti-estrogen drugs is applied in daily patient care.

Study collaborators include UC's Emily Bosco, Ying Wang and Karen Knudsen, PhD, as well as Huan Xu and Bruce Aronow, of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and Jack Zilfou and Scott Lowe, PhD, of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories in New York.

The study was supported by funding from the Barrett Cancer Center at the UC that was made possible by philanthropic support from General Electric Aviation and other community donations. Additional support came from the Department of Defense's Breast Cancer Research Program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Cincinnati. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Cincinnati. "New Biomarker Predicts Effectiveness Of Breast Cancer Drugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 December 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061208101626.htm>.
University of Cincinnati. (2006, December 12). New Biomarker Predicts Effectiveness Of Breast Cancer Drugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061208101626.htm
University of Cincinnati. "New Biomarker Predicts Effectiveness Of Breast Cancer Drugs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061208101626.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
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