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 July 31, 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 July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 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:
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