Dr. Arne Östman and colleagues at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm have identified a stromal marker for breast cancer progression.
Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptors are involved in multiple stages of cancer cell growth. However, the contribution of PDGFR expression in the stroma, or surrounding supportive tissue, of the tumor remains unclear.
Paulsson et al therefore characterized PDGFR expression in stroma of various tumors, including lymphoma and colon, ovarian, prostate, lung, and breast cancer. They found highly variable PDGFR expression in solid tumors, with colon and prostate tumors expressing the highest stromal levels of one type of PDGFR, PDGFβR. In breast cancer, stromal PDGFβR expression in pre-menopausal breast cancer patients significantly correlated with negative prognosis. These data highlight the importance of examining stromal as well as malignant cell expression of PDGF receptors in disease prognosis.
Paulsson et al suggest that "the findings in the present study of robust staining procedures for PDGF receptors should motivate continued studies of the response-predicative value of stromal PDGF receptor status."
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