Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Novel study into breast cancer origins paves way for personalized treatment

Date:
March 31, 2014
Source:
Cardiff University
Summary:
Breast cancers can look and behave very differently. Understanding why and how they do so is key to designing more tailored therapies for patients and sparing them unnecessary treatments. In a new study treads new ground in exploring what drives breast cancers to look and behave so differently from one another. “The ultimate aim of this research is to be able to take a more personalized approach to medicine,” said the main researchers.

Breast cancers can look and behave very differently. Understanding why and how they do so is key to designing more tailored therapies for patients and sparing them unnecessary treatments.

In a new study published by the Journal of Pathology, Dr Matt Smalley from Cardiff University treads new ground in exploring what drives breast cancers to look and behave so differently from one another.

"The ultimate aim of this research is to be able to take a more personalized approach to medicine," said Dr Smalley from Cardiff University's European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute. "We hope that in doing so, patients get the therapy best suited to their variety of breast cancer and avoid unnecessary treatment.

"To understand what might be influencing the differences between individual breast cancers, we have used two different genetically modified mouse models in which breast cancers originate in different cell types in each model, by means of a genetic 'trick'," he explained.

"In one part of the study, we created the same cancer-predisposing genetic errors in each of the two cell types. In another part, we created different genetic errors in the same cell type. We then asked whether the tumor types which occurred varied more strongly in their appearance depending on the cells in which they developed, or the genetic errors that caused the cancers, or both."

Dr Smalley continued: "We found that for cells originating in one of the cell types, so-called 'basal' cells, the cancers appeared the same no matter the genetic error, suggesting that in this case the cell of origin was dominant in determining how the cancer formed. However, the cancers that appeared from this cell type resembled a very rare form of human breast cancer, so these cells are probably not relevant to the majority of human cases.

"In contrast, for tumors originating in so-called 'estrogen receptor negative luminal cells', the appearance of the cancers varied depending on the genetic errors used to generate them.

"Remarkably, some of the cancers that formed resembled common human breast cancer types including both estrogen receptor negative and positive disease. We had previously shown this cell type to be the likely origin of Brca1-associated and other aggressive estrogen receptor negative breast cancers.

"Our findings now suggest the same cells are also the origin of aggressive estrogen receptor positive cancers as well. These results add to our understanding of the origins of breast cancer diversity and emphasize the importance of understanding the biology of this cell type to better understand how breast cancer develops."

The research, spearheaded by Dr Smalley from the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute at Cardiff University and conducted in collaboration with colleagues from Spain, Brazil and the UK, was funded by Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Cancer Research UK.

Richard Francis, Senior Manager Research Insight at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: "Understanding the biology of breast cancer is essential for the future development of new ways to treat and prevent this disease.

"We know that breast cancer is a mixture of many different subtypes and this work goes towards explaining how these arise. Ultimately this information will help the development of precision medicine, where each patient receives the treatment that will benefit them."

Nell Barrie, Senior Science Information Manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "Our scientists have already helped re-define how we view cancer -- showing that breast cancer is at least 10 different diseases, each with its own molecular fingerprint and weak spots. This research takes us one step closer to understanding why we see so much diversity in breast cancer, and will help expose each cancer's weakness so we can develop more effective and kinder treatments."

"The hope is that this paper will become a standard work of reference for mouse breast cancer research as there is currently no other benchmark for this type of work," concluded Dr Smalley. "It shows the quality of output from the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute as world leaders in analysis of mouse tumor models."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Lorenzo Melchor, Gemma Molyneux, Alan Mackay, Fiona-Ann Magnay, María Atienza, Howard Kendrick, Daniel Nava-Rodrigues, María Ángeles López-García, Fernanda Milanezi, Kirsty Greenow, David Robertson, José Palacios, Jorge S. Reis-Filho, Matthew J. Smalley. Identification of Cellular and Genetic Drivers of Breast Cancer Heterogeneity in Genetically Engineered Mouse Tumour Models. The Journal of Pathology, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/path.4345

Cite This Page:

Cardiff University. "Novel study into breast cancer origins paves way for personalized treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140331084036.htm>.
Cardiff University. (2014, March 31). Novel study into breast cancer origins paves way for personalized treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140331084036.htm
Cardiff University. "Novel study into breast cancer origins paves way for personalized treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140331084036.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) — An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) — Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) 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:
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