Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Triple-negative breast cancer subtypes identified using microRNA

Date:
February 7, 2013
Source:
Ohio State University Medical Center
Summary:
A new, large-scale study of triple-negative breast cancer shows that small molecules called microRNA can be used to define four subtypes of this aggressive malignancy. The findings could lead to new screening methods, prognostic markers and perhaps new targeted treatments for this aggressive and often-fatal form of breast cancer.

A new, large-scale study of triple-negative breast cancer shows that small molecules called microRNA can be used to define four subtypes of this aggressive malignancy.

The findings, by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center -- Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC -- James) working with collaborators in Italy, could lead to new screening methods, prognostic markers and perhaps new targeted treatments for this aggressive and often-fatal form of breast cancer.

The study is published in the journal PLoS ONE.

"The treatment of women with triple-negative breast cancer is challenging because this malignancy can be very different genetically from one patient to another," says co-senior investigator Dr. Charles Shapiro, director of Breast Medical Oncology and professor of internal medicine at the OSUCCC -- James.

"We believe these microRNA signatures define novel sub-sets of triple-negative breast cancer and offer new insights into the biology of the disease and better ways to treat these patients," Shapiro says.

The microRNAs that compose the signatures are involved in regulating cell growth, proliferation and survival, and in cell movement and migration.

"These findings strongly suggest that microRNAs play an important role in triple-negative breast cancer and might be used to better identify the most effective treatment for a patient's tumor," says co-senior investigator and researcher Dr. Kay Huebner, professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics at Ohio State.

"Several of the deregulated microRNAs we found in the cancer samples are involved in chemo-resistance or radio-resistance. MicroRNA profiles can help us to improve and personalize therapies for individual patients," she says.

Triple-negative breast cancer accounts for about 15 percent of all breast cancers. It is characterized by cancer cells that lack estrogen, progesterone and HER2 receptors. For this reason, these tumors do not respond to hormone therapies or HER2-targeted treatments.

MicroRNAs help regulate the kind and amount of proteins that cells make. They do this by binding with messenger RNA (mRNA), molecular copies of genes that are translated into proteins. When microRNA is bound to an mRNA, the messenger molecule cannot be translated into a protein. Instead, it is either temporarily stored or destroyed.

This study investigated associations between microRNA expression levels, mRNA expression levels and overall survival and distant-disease-free survival in women with triple-negative breast cancer.

Shapiro, Huebner and their colleagues evaluated 59 normal, 165 tumor and 54 metastatic matched tissue samples, obtained through The Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research at the OSUCCC -- James.

The researchers ran a complete microRNA profile and a cancer-focused panel of genes for each sample. They then generated microRNA signatures represented by certain prognostic microRNAs that, when deregulated, indicate odds of survival.

"This was a large cohort of triple-negative breast cancer cases and a major analysis effort that we believe makes this work extremely valuable," Huebner says.

To stratify the cancers, the researchers determined microRNA and mRNA expression profiles in tumor, adjacent-normal tissue and lymph-node metastatic tissue from 173 women with the triple-negative breast cancer.

"We identified microRNAs and mRNAs that uniquely represent primary and metastatic tumors, and that are specifically deregulated in that stage of the disease, says co-author Dr. Pierluigi Gasparini, a postdoctoral researcher in Huebner's laboratory.

The results define microRNA expression signatures that characterize and contribute to the differences between primary and metastatic tumors.

"We now want to learn which of these deregulated microRNAs might represent early biomarkers for cancer or metastasis detection," Gasparini says.

The study's key technical findings include:

  • The microRNA signatures correlated with prognosis and were correlated with changes in mRNA expression;
  • Two microRNA signatures were predictive of overall survival and distant disease-free survival, respectively, in patients 50 years of age or younger;
  • mRNA expression profiling resulted in clustering of triple-negative breast cancer into four molecular subclasses with different expression signatures.

"We believe these findings will be a reference point not only for our lab but also for many other research teams that might not have access to large patient populations, and hope that they will accelerate even more research on triple-negative breast cancer," Huebner says.

Funding from the NIH/National Cancer Institute (grant CA154200, CA120516, CA152758) and the Stefanie Spielman Foundation for Breast Cancer Research supported this research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Luciano Cascione, Pierluigi Gasparini, Francesca Lovat, Stefania Carasi, Alfredo Pulvirenti, Alfredo Ferro, Hansjuerg Alder, Gang He, Andrea Vecchione, Carlo M. Croce, Charles L. Shapiro, Kay Huebner. Integrated MicroRNA and mRNA Signatures Associated with Survival in Triple Negative Breast Cancer. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (2): e55910 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055910

Cite This Page:

Ohio State University Medical Center. "Triple-negative breast cancer subtypes identified using microRNA." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130207172203.htm>.
Ohio State University Medical Center. (2013, February 7). Triple-negative breast cancer subtypes identified using microRNA. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130207172203.htm
Ohio State University Medical Center. "Triple-negative breast cancer subtypes identified using microRNA." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130207172203.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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