Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stem cell researcher targets 'seeds' of breast cancer metastasis

Date:
July 11, 2014
Source:
University of Southern California - Health Sciences
Summary:
For breast cancer patients, the era of personalized medicine may be just around the corner. Breast cancer cells circulating through the blood streams of six patients have been isolated for study in a recent research project. Some of these deadly cancer cells are the "seeds" of metastasis, which travel to and establish secondary tumors in vital organs such as the bone, lungs, liver and brain.

Circulating tumor cells from the blood of a breast cancer patient.
Credit: Image by Maria C. Donaldson and Min Yu

For breast cancer patients, the era of personalized medicine may be just around the corner, thanks to recent advances by USC Stem Cell researcher Min Yu and scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

In a July 11 study in Science, Yu and her colleagues report how they isolated breast cancer cells circulating through the blood streams of six patients. Some of these deadly cancer cells are the "seeds" of metastasis, which travel to and establish secondary tumors in vital organs such as the bone, lungs, liver and brain.

Yu and her colleagues managed to expand this small number of cancer cells in the laboratory over a period of more than six months, enabling the identification of new mutations and the evaluation of drug susceptibility.

If perfected, this technique could eventually allow doctors to do the same: use cancer cells isolated from patients' blood to monitor the progression of their diseases, pre-test drugs and personalize treatment plans accordingly.

In the six estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer patients in the study, the scientists found newly acquired mutations in the estrogen receptor gene (ESR1), PIK3CA gene and fibroblast growth factor receptor gene (FGFR2), among others. They then tested either alone or in combination several anticancer drugs that might target tumor cells with these mutations and identified which ones merit further study. In particular, the drug Ganetspib -- also known as STA-9090 -- appeared to be effective in killing tumor cells with the ESR1 mutation.

"Metastasis is the leading cause of cancer-related death," said Yu, assistant professor in the Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. "By understanding the unique biology of each individual patient's cancer, we can develop targeted drug therapies to slow or even stop their diseases in their tracks."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southern California - Health Sciences. The original article was written by Cristy Lytal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Yu, A. Bardia, N. Aceto, F. Bersani, M. W. Madden, M. C. Donaldson, R. Desai, H. Zhu, V. Comaills, Z. Zheng, B. S. Wittner, P. Stojanov, E. Brachtel, D. Sgroi, R. Kapur, T. Shioda, D. T. Ting, S. Ramaswamy, G. Getz, A. J. Iafrate, C. Benes, M. Toner, S. Maheswaran, D. A. Haber. Ex vivo culture of circulating breast tumor cells for individualized testing of drug susceptibility. Science, 2014; 345 (6193): 216 DOI: 10.1126/science.1253533

Cite This Page:

University of Southern California - Health Sciences. "Stem cell researcher targets 'seeds' of breast cancer metastasis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140711092244.htm>.
University of Southern California - Health Sciences. (2014, July 11). Stem cell researcher targets 'seeds' of breast cancer metastasis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140711092244.htm
University of Southern California - Health Sciences. "Stem cell researcher targets 'seeds' of breast cancer metastasis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140711092244.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
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