Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New way discovered to predict which breast cancer patients should be treated with anthracyclines

Date:
March 25, 2010
Source:
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Summary:
British researchers have discovered a new way of detecting which breast cancer patients are going to respond best to chemotherapy that includes anthracycline antibiotics. The study has found that an abnormality on chromosome 17, called CEP17, is not only associated with a worse outcome for patients, but also that its presence is a highly significant indicator that the tumor will respond to anthracyclines.

An international team of researchers has discovered a new way of detecting which breast cancer patients are going to respond best to chemotherapy that includes anthracycline antibiotics*.

The research, presented at the seventh European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC7) in Barcelona March 26, is important because, until now, there was conflicting evidence about the best way of predicting response to anthracyclines and it was unclear whether any of the known biomarkers, such as the genes HER2 and TOP2A, were accurate indicators of response to these drugs.

By conducting a meta-analysis of four large breast cancer trials including nearly 3,000 patients, the researchers have discovered that an abnormality on chromosome 17, called CEP17, is associated with a worse outcome for patients, but also that its presence is a highly significant indicator that the tumour will respond to anthracyclines.

After adjusting for additional factors relating to the tumour and its treatment, the researchers found that if patients with CEP17 were treated with anthracyclines, they were approximately two-thirds more likely to survive and to survive without a recurrence of cancer than those who did not receive anthracyclines (recurrence free survival was 67% and overall survival was 63%).

John Bartlett, Professor of Molecular Pathology at the University of Edinburgh (Edinburgh, UK), said: "Our aim was to identify patients for whom anthracyclines provided benefit in terms of disease control and increased survival, and to seek to ensure that future treatment was targeted to this group. Our finding that patients whose tumours have the CEP17 abnormality are more likely to respond to anthracyclines is entirely novel. Subject to confirmation, this suggests that only those patients with CEP17 tumours should receive anthracyclines, thereby enabling other patients who do not have the CEP17 abnormality to avoid a toxic treatment that will not be effective."

CEP17 is on the same chromosome as two other genes known to be involved in breast cancer, HER2 and TOP2A, but the researchers did not find any significant associations between them and response to anthracycline treatment.

The discovery may open the way not only for clinicians to give anthracycline treatment to patients who will benefit the most from it, but also for biochemists to research the mechanisms involved in CEP17 and to design new drugs to target these pathways.

Prof Bartlett said: "We need to understand what CEP17 is telling us about the behaviour of breast cancer cells. It works as a biomarker for predicting response to anthracyclines, but we don't know why it works. So our next step is to discover this and to try to make the cancers that don't have the marker behave like the ones that do, so that they will respond to anthracyclines."

CEP17 is detected by a common and straightforward test (fluorescent in situ hybridisation or FISH), which is carried out routinely in breast cancer patients; it is used to test for the HER2 gene to see whether the women might benefit from the drug Herceptin. Prof Bartlett said that assessment for CEP17 could be easily carried out in the same FISH analysis as for HER2.

He concluded: "This is the largest study of its kind, with consistent results across multiple trials, and it provides a unifying hypothesis for previous conflicting data."

* Anthracyclines are anti-tumour antibiotics that interfere with enzymes involved in DNA replication. They are widely used against a variety of cancers. The research was funded from a variety of sources, including Cancer Research UK


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation. "New way discovered to predict which breast cancer patients should be treated with anthracyclines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100325091434.htm>.
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation. (2010, March 25). New way discovered to predict which breast cancer patients should be treated with anthracyclines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100325091434.htm
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation. "New way discovered to predict which breast cancer patients should be treated with anthracyclines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100325091434.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. 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