Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Driver of breast cancer stem cell metastasis found

Date:
July 24, 2012
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
Researchers have found that a cancer gene linked to aggressive spread of the disease promotes breast cancer stem cells. The finding implies a new way to target the behavior of these lethal cells.

Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have found that a cancer gene linked to aggressive spread of the disease promotes breast cancer stem cells. The finding implies a new way to target the behavior of these lethal cells.

The finding involves the cancer gene RhoC, which has previously been shown to promote metastasis of many types of cancer. RhoC levels increase as breast cancer progresses and high levels of RhoC are associated with worse patient survival.

Cancer stem cells are the small number of cells within a tumor that are believed to fuel the tumor's growth and spread. Researchers believe traditional chemotherapy and radiation treatments often become ineffective because they do not kill the cancer stem cells, and that the key to future treatments is to develop drugs that target and kill these cells.

This new study, which appears online in PLoS ONE, suggests a new way to get at the cancer stem cells.

"Targeting the specific molecular cogs driving the cancer stem cell machinery responsible for the cancer spreading has potential for future treatments. Eliminating cancer stem cells may ultimately be necessary to cure certain cancers, but in the meantime, we may be able to manage the cancer stem cell population and the invasive behaviors of these cells by disrupting the molecular machinery, using RhoC as a target," says senior study author Sofia D. Merajver, M.D., Ph.D., professor of internal medicine and epidemiology at the University of Michigan and scientific director of the breast oncology program at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The researchers looked at breast cancer cell lines that were highly metastatic and cell lines from normal breast tissue. By inhibiting or overexpressing RhoC, they found that RhoC expression is necessary to cause metastasis in both cell lines, and that RhoC overexpression alone can cause metastasis. The researchers also tested this in mice and had similar results.

Merajver's lab, in conjunction with other U-M researchers, is studying a novel small molecule drug to inhibit RhoC, which has shown promising initial results in the laboratory. The researchers are continuing to develop this inhibitor, which will require several years of additional testing in the laboratory before potentially advancing to clinical trials.

Breast cancer statistics: 229,060 Americans will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and 39,920 will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society

Additional authors: Devin T. Rosenthal, Jie Zhang, Liwei Bao, Lian Zhu, Zhifen Wu, Kathy Toy and Celina G. Kleer, all from U-M

Funding: Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program (BC083262); National Institutes of Health (T32-GM07315); Burroughs Wellcome Fund; Breast Cancer Research Foundation


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Devin T. Rosenthal, Jie Zhang, Liwei Bao, Lian Zhu, Zhifen Wu, Kathy Toy, Celina G. Kleer, Sofia D. Merajver. RhoC Impacts the Metastatic Potential and Abundance of Breast Cancer Stem Cells. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (7): e40979 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0040979

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Driver of breast cancer stem cell metastasis found." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120724131644.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2012, July 24). Driver of breast cancer stem cell metastasis found. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120724131644.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Driver of breast cancer stem cell metastasis found." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120724131644.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. 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