Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New treatment strategy for breast cancer spread to brain

Date:
August 1, 2013
Source:
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences
Summary:
Researchers have successfully combined cellular therapy and gene therapy in a mouse model system to develop a viable treatment strategy for breast cancer that has metastasized to the patient’s brain.

Researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) have successfully combined cellular therapy and gene therapy in a mouse model system to develop a viable treatment strategy for breast cancer that has metastasized, or spread, to the patient's brain. The laboratory study was led by Carol Kruse, professor of neurosurgery and member of JCCC and the UCLA Brain Research Institute. The study was published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research on August 1, 2013.

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women, and metastasis is a major cause of health deterioration and death from the disease. Management of metastasis is difficult for several reasons. The circulatory network known as the blood-brain barrier prevents many anti-cancer drugs from reaching the areas of the brain to which cancer has spread. Also, the tendency of metastasis to spring up in multiple places in the brain simultaneously makes current treatments such as radiation challenging.

Cellular therapy is a type of immunotherapy (treatment that involves the immune system) that uses T cells, the foot soldiers of the immune system, which have been sensitized in the laboratory to kill breast cancer cells. Those T cells are injected into the part of the brain to which the cancer has spread. The research shows the T cells move through tissue and can recognize and then directly kill the tumor cells. With the gene therapy, cancer cells are killed by a drug called 5-flurocytosine (5-FC) because they have been gene-modified. To get the gene into the cancer cells, the researchers first insert the gene into a virus that can infect (penetrate and spread among) the tumor cells. After the virus has infected the cells, nontoxic 5-FC is given to the patient. Tumor cells infected by the virus convert the nontoxic drug to a toxic form that kills the cancer cells. Dr. Noriyuki Kasahara, a professor in the department of medicine, developed the gene therapy method in his laboratory.

While the two methods alone each show efficacy in mouse models, the greatest reduction in metastatic brain tumor size happened when the cellular and gene therapies were combined.

"There is a significant lack of Federally funded research addressing translational studies on brain metastases of systemic cancers," Dr. Kruse said, "even though metastatic brain tumors occur ten times more frequently than primary brain tumors in humans. These patients have a dismal prognosis because the brain represents a 'sanctuary site' where appropriate access by many chemotherapeutics is ineffective. Our research addresses this unmet need."

Both experimental therapies are being tested individually in ongoing clinical trials for primary malignant brain tumors, which presents a unique opportunity for rapid translation of this technology from the laboratory to the clinic for breast and other types of cancer that metastasize to the brain.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. J. Hickey, C. C. Malone, K. L. Erickson, A. Lin, H. Soto, E. T. Ha, S. Kamijima, A. Inagaki, M. Takahashi, Y. Kato, N. Kasahara, B. M. Mueller, C. A. Kruse. Combined Alloreactive CTL Cellular Therapy with Prodrug Activator Gene Therapy in a Model of Breast Cancer Metastatic to the Brain. Clinical Cancer Research, 2013; 19 (15): 4137 DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-12-3735

Cite This Page:

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. "New treatment strategy for breast cancer spread to brain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130801142153.htm>.
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. (2013, August 1). New treatment strategy for breast cancer spread to brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130801142153.htm
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. "New treatment strategy for breast cancer spread to brain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130801142153.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. 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