Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Breast cancer replicates brain development process

Date:
April 24, 2014
Source:
University of York
Summary:
A process that forms a key element in the development of the nervous system may also play a pivotal role in the spread of breast cancer, new research reveals. Understanding these processes is important in understanding cancer metastasis. Although the number of deaths from breast cancer is decreasing, it is still the leading cause of cancer-related death in women because of metastasis.

New research led by a scientist at the University of York reveals that a process that forms a key element in the development of the nervous system may also play a pivotal role in the spread of breast cancer.

Related Articles


A research team, led by Dr Will Brackenbury, a Medical Research Council Fellow in the Department of Biology at York, has studied how voltage-gated sodium channels assist in the metastasis of cancerous tumors. These channels are found in the membranes of excitable cells, such as neurons, where they are involved in transmission of electrical impulses. However, the channels have also been found in metastatic cancer cells.

Using clinical breast cancer specimens from the Breast Cancer Campaign Tissue Bank and preclinical laboratory modelling, the researchers, including Dr Rebecca Millican-Slater, a consultant pathologist at St James University Hospital, Leeds, discovered that a sodium channel protein called Beta-one is present at high levels in breast cancer samples compared with normal tissue.

In research published in the International Journal of Cancer, they show for the first time that the increase in beta-one protein levels make tumors grow faster. They also discovered that Beta-one proteins play a significant role in enabling the cells to change shape and move, and consequently metastasise.

Understanding these processes is important in understanding cancer metastasis. Although the number of deaths from breast cancer is decreasing, it is still the leading cause of cancer-related death in women because of metastasis.

Dr Brackenbury said: "While there is no cure for metastasis, blocking the sodium channels inhibits migration and invasiveness and it may therefore be a viable therapeutic target. What is most exciting is that the mechanism by which Beta One regulates migration appears to replicate what it does in the central nervous system.

"As well as regulating electrical activity in neurons, Beta-one also regulates the migration of neurons during brain development and the breast cancer signalling mechanism seems to be the same. A process that is important in the development of the nervous system is being co-opted to play an insidious role in tumor development."

This research was funded by the Medical Research Council.

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Campaign, said: "The Breast Cancer Campaign Tissue Bank is vital for enabling researchers to use good quality tissue samples in their research. Dr Brackenbury's findings demonstrate how the Tissue Bank is helping drive forward research and new discoveries into what could be causing breast cancer to spread."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Michaela Nelson, Rebecca Millican-Slater, Lorna C. Forrest, William J. Brackenbury. The sodium channel β1 subunit mediates outgrowth of neurite-like processes on breast cancer cells and promotes tumour growth and metastasis. International Journal of Cancer, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/ijc.28890

Cite This Page:

University of York. "Breast cancer replicates brain development process." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424102303.htm>.
University of York. (2014, April 24). Breast cancer replicates brain development process. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424102303.htm
University of York. "Breast cancer replicates brain development process." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140424102303.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

WH Plan to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Germs

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) — The White House on Friday announced a five-year plan to fight the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria amid fears that once-treatable germs could become deadly. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) 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