Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Young Women's Breast Cancers Have More Aggressive Genes, Worse Prognosis

Date:
July 9, 2008
Source:
Duke University Medical Center
Summary:
Young women's breast cancers tend to be more aggressive and less responsive to treatment than the cancers that arise in older women, and researchers may have discovered part of the reason why: young women's breast cancers share unique genomic traits that the cancers in older women do not exhibit.

Young women's breast cancers tend to be more aggressive and less responsive to treatment than the cancers that arise in older women, and researchers at the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy may have discovered part of the reason why: young women's breast cancers share unique genomic traits that the cancers in older women do not exhibit.

Related Articles


"Clinicians have long noted that the breast cancers we see in women under the age of 45 tend to respond less well to treatment and have higher recurrence rates than the disease we see in older women, particularly those over the age of 65," said Kimberly Blackwell, M.D., a breast oncologist at Duke and senior investigator on the study. "Now we're really understanding why this is the case, and by understanding this, we may be able to develop better and more targeted therapies to treat these younger women."

Duke researchers looked at samples of nearly 800 breast tumors from women in five countries on three continents, and divided them into age-specific cohorts. The investigators found more than 350 sets of genes that were active only in the tumors from women under age 45. Conversely, tumors arising in women over age 65 did not share these activated gene sets.

"The breast tumors that arose in younger women shared a common biology, and this discovery was truly remarkable," Blackwell said. "The genes that regulate things like immune function, oxygen supply and mutations that we know are related to breast cancer, such as BRCA1, were preferentially expressed in the tumors taken from younger women, but when we compared younger women's tumors to older women's tumors, we found those same gene sets were not expressed in the 'older' tumors."

Researchers have already developed compounds that target some of the activated gene expression pathways that the Duke team discovered, and many of these compounds have promise for combating young women's tumors, Blackwell said. Identifying these characteristic gene expression profiles will be an important part of finding new therapies, she said.

"Many of the gene sets we saw in 'younger' tumors distinguished these cancers from 'older' tumors but the reverse was not true -- there was nothing we saw in the older women's tumors that set them apart genomically," Blackwell said. "Identifying these distinguishing characteristics may be the first step in developing more effective treatments for these younger patients."

The results appear in the July 10 Journal of Clinical Oncology. The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute.

Other researchers involved in this study include Carey Anders, David Hsu, Gloria Broadwater, Chaitanya Acharya, John Foekens, Yi Zhang, Yixin Wang, Kelly Marcom, Jeffrey Marks, Phillip Febbo, Joseph Nevins and Anil Potti.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Duke University Medical Center. "Young Women's Breast Cancers Have More Aggressive Genes, Worse Prognosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080708182543.htm>.
Duke University Medical Center. (2008, July 9). Young Women's Breast Cancers Have More Aggressive Genes, Worse Prognosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080708182543.htm
Duke University Medical Center. "Young Women's Breast Cancers Have More Aggressive Genes, Worse Prognosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080708182543.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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