Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Multi-gene test could help spot breast cancer patients most at risk

Date:
December 11, 2013
Source:
University of Chicago Medical Center
Summary:
A new test may help physicians identify patients with the most lethal forms of triple-negative breast cancer. It was able to distinguish between patients with a good or poor prognosis, even within groups of patients already stratified by existing tests.

A new test has the potential to help physicians identify patients with the most lethal forms of triple-negative breast cancer, a disease which requires aggressive and innovative treatment.

Related Articles


The test, described in the Dec. 11 issue of PLOS ONE, was able to distinguish between patients with a good or poor prognosis, even within groups of patients already stratified by existing tests such as MammaPrint and Oncotype, as well as to extend its predictions to patients with more advanced or difficult-to-treat cancers.

The genetic "signature" associated with poor prognosis, which incorporates information from about 30 genes, also reveals potential targets for the development of new drugs and therapies.

"We were able to detect bad guys hiding among the good guys," said study author Marsha Rosner, PhD, professor in the Ben May Department for Cancer Research at the University of Chicago. "When we applied our approach to clusters of patients sorted by the existing tests, we could spot exceptions."

"If you are a physician caring for patients who have been told they have a good prognosis -- but they don't -- you want to know that right away," she said. "We think we have found a way to provide that information."

The test is not currently available for clinical use.

Patients diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer face a difficult battle. These tend to be aggressive cancers with a poor prognosis. They lack three primary components -- the estrogen receptor, the progesterone receptor and a protein called HER2 -- that are the targets of effective therapies with few side effects.

Triple-negative cancers represent 14 to 20 percent of all breast cancers. They often recur after treatment, spread to the brain and lung, and develop resistance to standard chemotherapies. They occur more often in younger women, African-American women, Hispanic/Latina women and women who have BRCA1 mutations.

The researchers studied genetic pathways around a gene known as RKIP (Raf Kinase Inhibitory Protein) to generate prognostic gene signatures. This RKIP-based pathway suppresses metastasis, the spread of cancer to distant sites, leading them to the BPMS (BACH1 Pathway Metastasis Signature).

The researchers mapped out a series of testable genetic signals, involving about 30 genes, and correlated the combination of signals with long-term outcomes in about 1,600 breast cancer patients. They found that variations in the BPMS could predict prognosis for a wide array of patients, especially those with advanced or triple-negative disease.

"Specifically," the authors wrote, "BPMS can significantly differentiate between higher and lower risk patients with the highly aggressive basal subtype."

The test was particularly informative for patients with triple-negative disease, where it could estimate the odds of a cancer spreading to other sites. It was also able to further stratify previously-screened patients, such as those in the poor prognosis subgroup analyzed by MammaPrint and the high-recurrence subgroup analyzed by OncotypeDX.

"Our test adds information to the existing FDA-approved tests," Rosner said. "The BPMS is a significant predictive variable even after adjustment for all available clinical and prognostic factors."

The predictive ability of the BPMS suggests that the genes it focuses on play a significant role in the progression of advanced breast cancers. "This gives us ideas about what's driving metastasis in these cancers," Rosner said. "The next step is to try to pinpoint the key genes and develop drugs that can disrupt that process."

An approved drug, hemin (sold as Panhematin), used to treat a blood disorder called porphyria, may suppress the BPMS pathway, the researchers speculate.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. UnJin Lee, Casey Frankenberger, Jieun Yun, Elena Bevilacqua, Carlos Caldas, Suet-Feung Chin, Oscar M. Rueda, John Reinitz, Marsha Rich Rosner. A Prognostic Gene Signature for Metastasis-Free Survival of Triple Negative Breast Cancer Patients. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (12): e82125 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082125

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Medical Center. "Multi-gene test could help spot breast cancer patients most at risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131211183754.htm>.
University of Chicago Medical Center. (2013, December 11). Multi-gene test could help spot breast cancer patients most at risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131211183754.htm
University of Chicago Medical Center. "Multi-gene test could help spot breast cancer patients most at risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131211183754.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 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:

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