Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

New Findings in Breast Cancer

April 19, 2012
New findings in breast cancer research by an international team of scientists contradict the prevailing belief that only basal-like cells with stem cell qualities can form invasive tumors. Research led by Ole William Petersen at the University of Copenhagen (CU) and Mina Bissell of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and has shown that luminal-like cells with no detectable stem cell qualities can generate larger tumors than their basal-like counterparts. This may hold important implications for the diagnosis and the treatment of breast cancer as well as future personalized cancer medicine.

"It is fashionable to think of breast cancer as a disease that can be treated if cancer stem cells are killed off, but we are reporting a sub-population of cancer cells that have no obvious stem cell properties and yet can be tumorigenic and highly aggressive," Bissell says. "The existence of these additional sub-populations of tumorigenic cells tells us that the entire tumor needs to be eradicated, not just one sub-population of basal-like cells."

Bissell is a leading authority on breast cancer and a Distinguished Scientist with Berkeley Lab's Life Sciences Division. Petersen is a professor of Tissue Morphogenesis and Differentiation for CU's Cellular and Molecular Medicine department and a principal investigator for the Danish Stem Cell Center. They are the corresponding authors of a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that describes this work. The paper is titled "Tumor initiating but differentiated luminal-like breast cancer cells are highly invasive in the absence of basal-like activity." Other co-authors were Jiyoung Kim, René Villadsen, Therese Sørlie, Louise Fogh, Signe Grønlund, Agla Fridriksdottir, Irene Kuhn, Fritz Rank, Vera Timmermans Wielenga, Hiroko Solvang, Paul Edwards, Anne-Lise Børresen-Dale and Lone Rønnov-Jessen.

"Our findings were a surprise to us as we had hypothesized the opposite scenario," Petersen says. "We wanted to learn more about possible tumor suppressive properties so we set out to characterize the bulk of the tumor, which we assumed would not be tumor-initiating."

Most breast cancers originate in the milk ducts and lobules, which consist of luminal cells surrounded by basal cells, and the two most frequent subtypes of human breast cancer cells are named luminal-like and basal-like after their resemblance to the two major lineages in the normal human breast. For the past several years, it has been widely believed that basal-like cells with the undifferentiated qualities of stem cells were the source of invasive tumors. However, since a majority of breast cancers exhibit luminal cell differentiation, the Petersen-Bissell collaboration investigated whether luminal-like differentiated cells within a basal-like cell hierarchy could also become tumorigenic, or must these luminal-like cells acquire basal-like traits to become malignant.

"We applied some rare and mutually exclusive lineage markers to isolate subsets of luminal-like and basal-like breast cancer cells, which enabled us to do single cell cloning with a reasonable success rate," Petersen says. "We enriched for populations with or without prominent basal-like traits from individual tumors, and from single cell cloning of cell lines and recovered cells with a luminal-like phenotype."

What they discovered was that luminal-like cells without specific basal-like traits were fully capable of initiating tumors in laboratory test mice; in fact, the tumors generated by luminal-like cells were larger than those from basal-like cells. In addition, when tested in an invasion assay, these phenotypically pure luminal-like cells were more invasive than the basal-like cells.

"Our findings demonstrate that basal-like cells, as defined currently, are not a requirement for breast tumor aggressiveness and that within a single tumor there are multiple cells with tumorigenic potential," Bissell says. "This casts doubt on the current hypothesis of hierarchical or differentiative loss of tumorigenicity."

The marker used by the Petersen-Bissell collaboration to isolate the luminal-like cancer cells was milk mucin (MM), one of the glycans, the sugar molecules that are ubiquitous to cell surfaces and central to cellular signaling. Basal-like cancer cells were marked with the protein CD271. The MM glycan was detected by the antibody M18. The CD271 marker was detected by the ME20.4 antibody.

In their investigation, the collaborators found that the ability of the luminal-like breast cancer cells to form large invasive tumors depended on the expression of the glycoprotein gene GCNT1, which in turn is required for the MM glycan to be detected by the M18 antibody. The collaborators believe this finding might be of potential clinical importance for breast cancer as co-author Kuhn, a member of Bissell's research group, explains.

"There has been an increasing appreciation that glycans play an important role in malignant behavior and our work shows that inhibiting the activity of GCNT1 could prevent the invasive behavior of the aggressive luminal-like cancer cells if they express the MM epitope," she says.

Although Petersen emphasizes that any clinical implications of this work remains speculative at this time, the finding that multiple types of cells in breast cancers are capable of initiating invasive tumors, he says, could hold implications for future personalized medicine.

"While new avenues in breast cancer targeting have been strongly influenced by the concepts of tumor subtypes and cancer stem cells, we believe our data and recent data from other laboratories opens the possibility of targeting individual stages of differentiation of breast cancer cells within a tumor," Petersen says. "In that way personalized medicine in the future could rely on a cellular-composition-profile with each cellular component accounted for in the treatment design."

This research was supported by grants from the Danish Cancer Society, the Novo Nordisk Foundation, and the Danish Council for Strategic Research, and in part the National Cancer Institute, the breast cancer program of the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


Related Breast Cancer Current Events and Breast Cancer News Articles


Latest evidence on using hormone replacement therapy for treating menopausal symptoms
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the most effective treatment for menopausal symptoms, in particular for younger women at the onset of the menopause, suggests a new review published today (19 December) in The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist (TOG).

Orphan receptor proteins deliver 2 knock-out punches to glioblastoma cells
Two related proteins exert a lethal double whammy effect against glioblastoma cells when activated with a small molecule, say researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Study shows how breast cancer cells break free to spread in the body
More than 90 percent of cancer-related deaths are caused by the spread of cancer cells from their primary tumor site to other areas of the body. A new study has identified how one important gene helps cancer cells break free from the primary tumor.

Researchers identify new approach to diagnose blood clots in lungs of patients over 50
Researchers from Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City have identified a new "sliding scale" model used to rule out potentially deadly blood clots in the lungs, known as pulmonary embolisms, that is more accurate than current diagnostic methods.

Too much, too little, just right
Scientists have long known the p53 protein suppresses tumors. However, a recent animal study by UC Davis researchers has uncovered a complicated relationship between p53 and another protein, Rbm38, highlighting how the body calibrates protein levels.

Proteins drive cancer cells to change states
A new study from MIT implicates a family of RNA-binding proteins in the regulation of cancer, particularly in a subtype of breast cancer. These proteins, known as Musashi proteins, can force cells into a state associated with increased proliferation.

Breast Cancer Specialist Presents Positive Results for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Presurgery Chemotherapy Benefits
A breast cancer specialist and clinical researcher at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island presented research yesterday at the 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium showing that adding either the chemotherapy drug carboplatin or the blood vessel-targeting drug bevacizumab to the standard treatment of chemotherapy before surgery helped women who have the basal-like subtype of triple-negative breast cancer.

Herceptin found to improve long-term survival of HER2-positive breast cancer patients
VCU Massey Cancer Center physician-researcher Charles E. Geyer, Jr., M.D., was the National Protocol Officer for one component of a large national study involving two National Cancer Institute (NCI)-supported clinical trials that demonstrated that trastuzumab significantly improves the long-term survival of HER-2 positive breast cancer patients.

Migraine was not associated with BC in a pooled analysis of prospective cohort studies
Migraine was not associated with breast cancer risk or differences in the endogenous sex hormones that have been proposed to be associated with migraines, according to a new study published December 12 in the JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Male and female breast cancers are not identical
Results of the EORTC10085/TBCRC/BIG/NABCG International Male Breast Cancer Program conducted in both Europe and in the United States and presented at the 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium found significant improvement in survival for men with breast cancer, but this improvement was not as good as that observed for women.
More Breast Cancer Current Events and Breast Cancer News Articles

Let Me Get This Off My Chest: A Breast Cancer Survivor Over-Shares

Let Me Get This Off My Chest: A Breast Cancer Survivor Over-Shares
by Margaret Lesh (Author)


Tamoxifen hot flashes, mastectomy, reconstruction, breast cancer etiquette, Frankenboobs, bras with special attachments—Margaret Lesh shares all in her funny, heartfelt collection of essays, anecdotes, and life lessons from the perspective of a two-time breast cancer survivor. She’ll tell you when it’s okay to play the cancer card, what you should take to the hospital, and gives suggestions on how to cope in those dark moments of the soul. With practical tips sprinkled throughout, LET ME GET THIS OFF MY CHEST explores how breast cancer changed her outlook on life, offering honest insights, humor, and sensitivity as she looks for the silver lining in a not-so-great situation. Whether you are a woman diagnosed with breast cancer or whether you know someone with breast cancer, this...

The Breast Cancer Survival Manual, Fifth Edition: A Step-by-Step Guide for Women with Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer

The Breast Cancer Survival Manual, Fifth Edition: A Step-by-Step Guide for Women with Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer
by John Link (Author)


The updated edition of the essential resource for the 250,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer each yearBreast cancer is the leading cause of death in women from thirty-five to fifty-four years of age, and few things are as terrifying and confusing as a diagnosis of this disease. The fifth edition of The Breast Cancer Survival Manual is a concise, information-packed guide that is newly revised to contain all of the latest findings to help the woman facing treatment feel informed and empowered. John Link, M.D., a pioneer developer of Breastlink Medical Group in Southern California includes the most current medical advice on     • Tamoxifen, Herceptin, and other chemotherapy options      • The growing importance of HER2 oncogene testing      • Clinical research trials...

The Whole-Food Guide for Breast Cancer Survivors: A Nutritional Approach to Preventing Recurrence (The New Harbinger Whole-Body Healing Series)

The Whole-Food Guide for Breast Cancer Survivors: A Nutritional Approach to Preventing Recurrence (The New Harbinger Whole-Body Healing Series)
by Edward Bauman MEd PhD (Author), Helayne Waldman MS EdD (Author), Donald I. Abrams MD (Foreword)


If you’re a breast cancer survivor, chances are you have renewed your commitment to maintaining your good health and taking care of your body. As one of the best preventative measures known to doctors and nutritionists today, a robust, cancer-fighting diet is vital to your personal plan for breast cancer prevention.The Whole-Food Guide for Breast Cancer Survivors is an essential guide for every woman seeking to understand the effect of nutritional deficiencies and environmental factors on her overall health and wellness. Based on Edward Bauman’s groundbreaking Eating for Health model, this highly comprehensive, practical approach can help you reduce the chance of breast cancer recurrence; rebuild your immune system; and enjoy a stronger, healthier body.Reduce the chance of breast...

An Inconvenient Year

An Inconvenient Year
by Original Writing


It is a book that deals with the social side of cancer, as a parent, a lover and a friend. It is a story of coping with uncertainty, the reactions of others and living with them too. It documents the total shock and utter fear that a diagnosis brings and the hopelessness of surrendering to a treatment that brings its own baggage yet ultimately insures life. It talks about confronting hair loss along with discovering the more covert assault on all things feminine. Yet at the very root of the book, ahead of the fear and anger, there is humour and laughter. Though the story of cancer has been told before, it has not been told like this"

Cancer: What I Wish I Had Known When I Was First Diagnosed: Tips and Advice From a Survivor

Cancer: What I Wish I Had Known When I Was First Diagnosed: Tips and Advice From a Survivor
by Michele Ryan (Author)


A cancer diagnosis results, understandably, in fear and uncertainty. Once the initial shock passes, the questions begin. Some are medical in nature: What are your treatment options? Some are intensely personal: How do you tell your children? Will your hair grow back after chemo? How will the disease affect your sex life and relationships? In Cancer: What I Wish I Had Known When I Was First Diagnosed, ten-year breast cancer survivor Michele Ryan answers these questions and more. Michele's common sense advice and practical tips provide a comprehensive road map to help navigate the basic challenges of life with cancer. She covers everything from how to evaluate your health insurance to what to pack for hospital stays, all carefully laid out in an easy-to-navigate format so readers can find...

Fight Now: Eat & Live Proactively Against Breast Cancer

Fight Now: Eat & Live Proactively Against Breast Cancer
by Aaron Tabor, MD


Dr. Tabor’s FIGHT NOW book provides information on lifestyle choices that might improve breast health and overall health. The purpose of Dr. Tabor’s medical research is to empower you to become proactive against breast cancer now with specific food and lifestyle choices. We can make specific food and lifestyle choices to lower the risk of getting breast cancer, risk of recurrence, and risk of dying from breast cancer. The only alternative is to be reactive after you get breast cancer or have a recurrence of breast cancer. The choice is clear

Whether you are currently fighting breast cancer; are a survivor; or, simply trying to lower your risk, Dr. Tabor’s FIGHT NOW book will give you concise, critical information that you can start using today. You don’t have to read...

Beating Breast Cancer: A survivors guides to beating cancer and changing your life for the better

Beating Breast Cancer: A survivors guides to beating cancer and changing your life for the better


This book contains proven steps and strategies on how to help your body help itself by providing it with essential nutrients and removing those that have negative results. This book will also show you how and why your emotions play a significant part in disease and healing. As well as how taking charge of your life helps your body heal.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Healing for Your Breast Cancer Journey: Surviving and Thriving During and After Your Diagnosis and Treatment

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Healing for Your Breast Cancer Journey: Surviving and Thriving During and After Your Diagnosis and Treatment
by Dr. Julie Silver (Author)


Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Healing for Your Breast Cancer Journey will encourage comfort and encourage breast cancer patients and survivors with its inspiring stories and helpful medical information.

A support group from breast cancer diagnosis through treatment to rehabilitation and recovery, this book combines inspiring Chicken Soup for the Soul stories written just for this book and accessible leading-edge medical information from Dr. Julie Silver of Harvard Medical School. Patients and survivors will find comfort, strength and hope.

Breast Cancer (2015): 150 Latest & Illustrated Questions & Answers

Breast Cancer (2015): 150 Latest & Illustrated Questions & Answers


Why this book -- what is so exciting in the field of breast cancer? Take a look:
• Many early breast cancers, with timely and appropriate treatments, are now curable.
• The five-year survival rate of cancers confined to the milk ducts and milk lobules (DCIS & LCIS) has gone up to 100%.The five-year survival of Stage 1 (larger tumor or lymph node-positive tumor) has gone up to almost 90%.
• Combination of 3-D and Digital Mammograms Reduces False Positive Mammograms by 14% & Weeds out Invasive Ductal Carcinoma by 39 %.
• For the first time FDA labels a promising & new breast cancer drug the title of "Breakthrough" drug which doubles Progression Free Survival and extends overall survival (Ch:13).
• Do Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve...Help Reduce...

The Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer Book

The Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer Book
by the breast-health experts at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center (Author)


From the breast health experts at Mayo Clinic comes a guide to the many aspects of breast cancer—from prevention, to care and coping, to survival, to living with hope.

The Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer Book is the trusted resource for anyone wanting reliable information about this dreaded disease. Mayo Clinic set out to provide comprehensive and up-to-date facts in easy-to-understand language. They've succeeded in this handbook for those who've been diagnosed, or for those who want to give sensitive and helpful support to someone with breast cancer. The Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer Book stands out for its tone of companionship, as well as for the many patient stories that appear throughout the book. 

This straightforward yet approachable resource will empower all who are...

© 2014 BrightSurf.com