Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Calculating How Breast Cancers Will Respond To Tamoxifen

Date:
September 11, 2008
Source:
Garvin Institute
Summary:
A discovery by Australian scientists could help clinicians decide which women with breast cancer will make good candidates for anti-estrogen therapies, such as tamoxifen, and which will not.

The network of genes involved in cell proliferation.
Credit: Image courtesy of Garvin Institute

A discovery by Australian scientists could help clinicians decide which women with breast cancer will make good candidates for anti-oestrogen therapies, such as tamoxifen, and which will not.

Over 12,000 Australian women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, roughly 70% of which will have cancers treatable with tamoxifen. Unfortunately, 30% or more of these women may not respond well to such anti-hormone therapy long-term.

Work done by a research team headed by Associate Professor Liz Musgrove and Professor Rob Sutherland of Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research has correlated expression of certain functionally-related oestrogen-regulated genes with predictable clinical outcomes. This expanded knowledge about oestrogen action and endocrine resistance should allow clinicians to make better, more informed, choices in the future.

“What we call ‘breast cancer’ is actually many different kinds of cancer, some of which appear to be driven by the female hormone oestrogen,” said Professor Musgrove. “We found roughly 800 genes that are regulated by oestrogen, each with a different function in the cell, so you can imagine how complicated the picture can become when you are trying to correlate the effects of all these genes with multiple cancers.”

In fact, the scale of such calculations, and complex biochemistry behind them, requires the help of large relational databases, powerful software and the agile minds of bioinformatics specialists to crunch and analyse data.

Out of the undifferentiated pool of oestrogen-regulated genes, the team has identified four groupings of genes, with each group relating to one aspect of breast cancer cell behaviour: cell cycle (proliferation), cell growth (actual size of the cell), cell death and gene transcription.

Professor Musgrove stresses the clinical relevance of the findings. “In collaboration with colleagues at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, we took these 4 groups of genes and asked whether they were related to outcome in a sample of 246 women who’d been treated with tamoxifen. We were able to directly relate 3 out of the 4 groups, all but gene transcription, to whether a woman had done better or worse when treated with tamoxifen.”

“We then went on to ask whether we were looking at three different ways of identifying the same women, or whether the three groups of genes identified distinct groups of women, with different breast cancers. It appears as if they identify distinct groups of women with different cancers.”

“Developing pure lists of genes that are involved in single processes gives us a good conceptual and experimental framework. In time we hope to understand how these groups of genes interact, and exactly how they affect disease or health.”

The novel findings were published in the August issue of the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Garvin Institute. "Calculating How Breast Cancers Will Respond To Tamoxifen." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080908101645.htm>.
Garvin Institute. (2008, September 11). Calculating How Breast Cancers Will Respond To Tamoxifen. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080908101645.htm
Garvin Institute. "Calculating How Breast Cancers Will Respond To Tamoxifen." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080908101645.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) The new drug from Novartis could reduce cardiovascular deaths by 20 percent compared to other similar drugs. Video provided by Newsy
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