Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Breast milk may provide a personalized screen of breast cancer risk

Date:
April 4, 2011
Source:
American Association for Cancer Research
Summary:
Breast cancer risk can be assessed by examining the epithelial cells found in breast milk, according to preliminary study results.

Breast cancer risk can be assessed by examining the epithelial cells found in breast milk, according to preliminary study results presented at the AACR 102nd Annual Meeting 2011, held April 2-6.

This screening method has the potential to provide a personalized assessment of breast cancer risk, said lead researcher Kathleen F. Arcaro, Ph.D., associate professor of veterinary and animal sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Given that roughly 80 percent of women give birth, this screen would also cover a large percentage of the female population.

Arcaro and colleagues collected breast milk samples from about 250 women who were scheduled for or who had a breast biopsy. The women submitted fresh samples, which were processed within 24 hours of expression; they provided samples from both breasts.

The researchers recruited about 90 percent of their study population from the Love/Avon Army of Women, which registers women who are willing to participate in breast cancer research. The American Association for Cancer Research is the scientific partner in this effort.

Once researchers received the samples, they isolated the epithelial cells (the potentially cancerous cells) in the breast milk. Then they isolated the DNA to look for epigenetic signals (attachment of methyl groups to DNA), which are the signals that tell the body those genes that should be expressed. These signals were then compared with breast cancer risk assessed using the biopsy results.

Arcaro and colleagues analyzed three genes: RASSF1, GSTP1 and SFRP1. "More than 35 genes have been shown to be methylated in breast cancer," she said.

Of the 104 women with a non-proliferative (low-risk) lesion, results showed no difference in the average epithelial DNA methylation of their biopsied breast vs. non-biopsied breast for RASSF1 and GSTP1. For SFRP1, however, the average methylation was higher in the biopsied breast. Importantly, among the women whose biopsies revealed cancer, there was a significant increase in average RASSF1 methylation in the biopsied breast vs. non-biopsied breast. Although the sample size in this study is small, "it's sufficient to tell us that we can use the cells in breast milk to assess breast cancer risk," Arcaro said, and additional studies are needed to expand the number of genes. Long-term studies are currently underway with about 80 percent of the original participants enrolled in follow-up.

Arcaro hopes that someday every woman who delivers a baby in a hospital will be screened for breast cancer via breast milk. "We'll take a little sample of colostrum, and we'll tell her how her breasts are doing," she said. "It's totally noninvasive, potentially inexpensive and really accurate."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Association for Cancer Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Association for Cancer Research. "Breast milk may provide a personalized screen of breast cancer risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110404093146.htm>.
American Association for Cancer Research. (2011, April 4). Breast milk may provide a personalized screen of breast cancer risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110404093146.htm
American Association for Cancer Research. "Breast milk may provide a personalized screen of breast cancer risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110404093146.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
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
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. 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