Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Poor breast cancer prognosis associated with presence of circulating tumor, cancer stem cells

Date:
December 27, 2010
Source:
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Summary:
Metastatic breast cancer patients whose blood contains circulating tumor cells before or after treatment with high-dose chemotherapy and blood stem cell transplant have shorter survival periods, according to a new study.

Metastatic breast cancer patients whose blood contains circulating tumor cells (CTCs) before or after treatment with high-dose chemotherapy and blood stem cell transplant have shorter survival periods, according to a new study by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

The findings were presented December 10 in a poster session at the 33rd Annual CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

In addition, patients with higher percentages of epithelial cells, or the presence of a specific cellular transition, had higher chances for relapse.

"Building on the information from this study, we eventually may be able to use these molecular markers to identify breast cancer patients with a high likelihood of developing metastasis or relapsing. This may allow physicians to design specific treatments to help patients achieve better outcomes," said James M. Reuben, Ph.D., professor in MD Anderson's Department of Hematopathology, and co-corresponding author of the study.

Stem cells have common receptor

High-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous hematopoietic peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (ASCT) offers modest complete response rates for some patients with metastatic breast cancer. However, tumor cells that spread to the bone may be recruited and mobilized along with hematopoietic stem cells to increase a patient's chance of relapse.

"We hypothesized that since the breast tumor cells have the same CXRX4 receptor as hematopoietic stem cells, we might mobilize or recruit tumor cells by using a growth factor proven to mobilize blood stem cells," Reuben said.

Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is recognized as an important part of metastasis. Epithelial cells line the organs and cavities of the body and usually are not mobile. Mesenchymal cells are mobile and can differentiate into many cell types, for example, to repair injury. EMT has been shown to repress E-cadherin, decrease cell-cell adhesion and increase a cell's capacity to move. An estimated 80 percent of solid tumors are cancers of the epithelial tissue.

Blood examined for epithelial cells, CTC

Aphaeresis was used to harvest blood stem cells from 21 metastatic breast cancer patients before transplantation. To determine levels of CTCs, blood samples were collected before aphaeresis (baseline) and one month after transplantation.

"We used the flow cytometry method of staining for both epithelial and stem cell markers," said Hui Gao, Ph.D., a research scientist in MD Anderson's Department of Hematopathology and co-first author of the study. "Then we enumerated the percentages of epithelial cells and cancer stem cells to see how these correlated with patient survival."

Cells, survival correlated

The median time to follow-up after transplant was 16.4 months. At follow-up, eight women were cancer free, and 13 had relapsed. The median time to relapse was nine months, and median survival was 14.4 months.

CTCs were found in six patients before and in nine patients after transplant. Patients with more than five CTCs before transplant had shorter overall survival. If five or more CTCs were found after transplant, both relapse-free and overall survival times were shorter.

Patients with percentages of CD326+ epithelial cells above the median had shorter relapse-free survival times,10 months versus 23 months. Also, patients with CTCs with mesenchymal features had a shorter relapse-free survival, seven months, compared to those who had CTCs without such features, 23 months.

Next steps

The researchers hope to carry the research forward into a prospective study in the near future.

"If we really can target CTCs with mesenchymal features, we may be able to control disease much more efficiently," said Naoto T. Ueno, M.D., Ph.D., professor in MD Anderson's Departments of Breast Medical Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, and co-corresponding author of the study.

Co-authors with Gao, Reuben and Ueno include, from MD Anderson: Bang-Ning Lee, Ph.D.; Evan Cohen, B.S.; Michelle Davis, M.S.; and Antonio Giordano, M.D. Michael Mego, M.D., Ph.D., National Cancer Institute, Slovak Republic; and Massimo Cristofanilli, M.D., Fox Chase Cancer Center, also contributed to the research.

The research was funded by grants from The University of Texas Health Science Center, the National Cancer Institute, the State of Texas Rare and Aggressive Breast Cancer Research Program and an American Airlines Susan G. Komen Promise Grant.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. "Poor breast cancer prognosis associated with presence of circulating tumor, cancer stem cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101210154528.htm>.
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. (2010, December 27). Poor breast cancer prognosis associated with presence of circulating tumor, cancer stem cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101210154528.htm
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. "Poor breast cancer prognosis associated with presence of circulating tumor, cancer stem cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101210154528.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. 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