Nav: Home

Manchester researchers announce new methods of beating breast cancer

October 01, 2007

University of Manchester researchers will reveal new ways of controlling and treating breast cancer at the National Cancer Research Institute conference in Birmingham today (Monday 1 October 2007).

Dr Robert Clarke and his team at the University's Cancer Studies research group have been investigating human breast cancers for the presence of stem cells - cells that generate new tumours and can cause the cancer to recur - in a series of studies funded by the charity Breast Cancer Campaign.

One third of women who are successfully treated for breast cancer find that the disease recurs some years later because some of these cancer cells survive the treatment and begin to grow again.

The team's research into these 'breast cancer stem cells' revealed that the cells are stimulated by the Notch gene. The team, who published the study in Journal of the National Cancer Institute, is now hoping to develop new drug therapies to target this gene and thus stop the growth of any surviving breast cancer stem cells.

One drug that is known to attack Notch is already used for the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease so, having undergone health and safety checks, its clinical trial for use on breast cancer patients could be speeded up and lead to a treatment in hospital clinics within a few years. Herceptin, by contrast, took more than 15 years to go from the discovery of its gene target to treatment.

The team is also aiming to identify other new pathways of controlling breast cancer stem cells by using a genetic library to shut down other genes at random to see how it affects them, in a study with Rene Bernards at the Netherlands Cancer Institute.

The team, along with Professor Tony Whetton, are using a state-of-the-art mass-spectrometry based proteomics facility at the Paterson Institute of Cancer Research to identify proteins that control breast cancer stem cells. The facility - one of only a few in the UK - enables them to break up breast cancer stem cell proteins and analyse the sequence of amino acids to identify novel proteins that control the cells' growth.

Dr Clarke says: "Our work has revealed the importance of several pathways not previously known to regulate stem cell survival and self-renewal, which is tremendously exciting. Inhibitors of signalling pathways that regulate cancer stem cells could represent a new therapeutic modality in breast cancer, to be used in combination with current treatments in the near future."
-end-
For more information, a copy of the paper or to arrange an interview with Professor Robert Clarke, please contact NCRI press officer at the conference press suite or University of Manchester Media Relations Officer Mikaela Sitford on 07768 980942.

Editor's Note:

The University of Manchester team: Professor Robert Clarke, Dr Gillian Farnie and Professor Nigel Bundred (Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences) and Dr Keith Brennan (Faculty of Life Sciences).

The Cancer Studies research group is one of two in the School of Cancer and Imaging Sciences and is a key partner in the Manchester Cancer Research Centre as part of the Manchester Comprehensive Cancer Network. The Manchester Cancer Research Centre will see a major increase in the cancer research efforts and facilities with the aim to recruit at least ten world-class clinical and non-clinical cancer researchers within the next five years. The strong partnership with the University and Trusts will help make Manchester a truly formidable player in international cancer research and care. The Cancer Network provides a range of specialist diagnostics and treatment for cancer patients together with laboratory, translational and clinical research.

The University of Manchester's Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences boasts an annual research income of £51 million, almost a third of the University's total research income. There are 7,600 undergraduate students and 1,600 postgraduates on award-bearing courses. More students graduate each year from the School of Medicine than from any other medical school in the UK. There is a strong organisational capability for undertaking cross-faculty teaching and research activity in partnership with the public sector and industry. Excellent links also exist with the NHS in terms of undertaking pioneering medical and clinically based research. The Faculty is a key stakeholder in the Greater Manchester Research Alliance.

The Paterson Institute for Cancer Research (PICR) is a research institute within The University of Manchester, and is one of four research institutes core-funded by Cancer Research UK. It is a partner in the newly-formed Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC), whose goal is to become one of the world's leading cancer research centres. MCRC brings together the cancer research activity in the city of The University of Manchester, Christie Hospital NHS Trust and Cancer Research UK. Facilities include micro-arrays, advanced imaging, bioinformatics and state-of-the-art mass-spectrometry based proteomics. For more information please visit www.paterson.man.ac.uk.

Breast Cancer Campaign is the only charity that specialises in funding independent breast cancer research throughout the UK. Our research looks at improving diagnosis and treatment, better understanding how breast cancer develops and ultimately either curing the disease or preventing it. Currently it supports 97 research projects, worth over £11.9 million, in 50 centres of excellence across the UK.

The National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer Conference is the UK's premier forum for disseminating advances across all aspects of cancer research. AstraZeneca is the gold sponsor for the NCRI Cancer Conference 2007.

The National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) was established in April 2001. It is a partnership between government, the voluntary sector and the private sector, with the primary mission of maximising patient benefit that accrues from cancer research in the UK through coordination of effort and joint planning towards an integrated national strategy for cancer research. See www.ncri.org.uk. The NCRI consists of: The Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI); The Association for International Cancer Research; The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council; Breakthrough Breast Cancer; Breast Cancer Campaign; Cancer Research UK; Department of Health; Economic and Social Research Council; Leukaemia Research Fund; Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research; Macmillan Cancer Support; Marie Curie Cancer Care; The Medical Research Council; Northern Ireland Health and Personal Social Services Research & Development Office; Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation; Scottish Executive Health Department; Tenovus; Wales Office of Research and Development for Health & Social Care; Wellcome Trust; and Yorkshire Cancer Research.

University of Manchester

Related Breast Cancer Articles:

Does MRI plus mammography improve detection of new breast cancer after breast conservation therapy?
A new article published by JAMA Oncology compares outcomes for combined mammography and MRI or ultrasonography screenings for new breast cancers in women who have previously undergone breast conservation surgery and radiotherapy for breast cancer initially diagnosed at 50 or younger.
Blood test offers improved breast cancer detection tool to reduce use of breast biopsy
A Clinical Breast Cancer study demonstrates Videssa Breast can inform better next steps after abnormal mammogram results and potentially reduce biopsies up to 67 percent.
Surgery to remove unaffected breast in early breast cancer increases
The proportion of women in the United States undergoing surgery for early-stage breast cancer who have preventive mastectomy to remove the unaffected breast increased significantly in recent years, particularly among younger women, and varied substantially across states.
Breast cancer patients with dense breast tissue more likely to develop contralateral disease
Breast cancer patients with dense breast tissue have almost a two-fold increased risk of developing disease in the contralateral breast, according to new research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer.
Some early breast cancer patients benefit more from breast conservation than from mastectomy
Breast conserving therapy (BCT) is better than mastectomy for patients with some types of early breast cancer, according to results from the largest study to date, presented at ECC2017.
One-third of breast cancer patients not getting appropriate breast imaging follow-up exam
An annual mammogram is recommended after treatment for breast cancer, but nearly one-third of women diagnosed with breast cancer aren't receiving this follow-up exam, according to new findings presented at the 2016 Annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons.
Low breast density worsens prognosis in breast cancer
Even though dense breast tissue is a risk factor for breast cancer, very low mammographic breast density is associated with a worse prognosis in breast cancer patients.
Is breast conserving therapy or mastectomy better for early breast cancer?
Young women with early breast cancer face a difficult choice about whether to opt for a mastectomy or breast conserving therapy (BCT).
Breast density and outcomes of supplemental breast cancer screening
In a study appearing in the April 26 issue of JAMA, Elizabeth A.
Full dose radiotherapy to whole breast may not be needed in early breast cancer
Five years after breast-conserving surgery, radiotherapy focused around the tumor bed is as good at preventing recurrence as irradiating the whole breast, with fewer side effects, researchers from the UK have found in the large IMPORT LOW trial.

Related Breast Cancer Reading:

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. View Details


Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book (A Merloyd Lawrence Book)
by Susan M. Love (Author), Karen Lindsey (Contributor), Elizabeth Love (Contributor)

For a woman faced with a diagnosis of breast cancer, the information available today is vast, uneven, and confusing. For more than two decades, readers have relied on Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book to guide them through this frightening thicket of research and opinion to find the best possible options for their particular situations. This sixth edition explains exciting advances in targeted treatments, hormonal therapies, safer chemotherapy, and immunologic approaches as well as new forms of surgery and radiation. There is extensive guidance for the increasing number of women living for... View Details


Breast Cancer Smoothies: 100 Delicious, Research-Based Recipes for Prevention and Recovery
by Daniella Chace (Author)

The statistics are staggering. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women--About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Second only to heart disease by a mere one percent, every ounce of prevention and every window of opportunity for healing is critical. In order to reduce the risk of developing this common disease, you need a targeted plan to protect yourself from common breast toxins and to strengthen your immune defenses.

In her delightful new book, Daniella breaks down the complex topic of... View Details


Heal Breast Cancer Naturally: 7 Essential Steps to Beating Breast Cancer
by Dr. Veronique Desaulniers (Author)

One out of eight women will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer. One out of 3 women will experience some form of cancer in their life time.

I was one of those statistics even though I was living a healthy lifestyle that consisted of organic foods, regular exercise, massage, Chiropractic care and colonics. How could somebody like me develop Breast Cancer?

That very question led to thousands of hours of research, study, soul-searching and prayer. It all came together as The 7 Essentials – 7 basic steps that are necessary for preventing and healing cancer, or any dis-ease for... View Details


Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) during Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond
by Marc Silver (Author)

A unique guide, like none other on the market-packed with medical information, practical tips, psychological insight, and coping strategies-to help men help the women they love through this trying time.

When Marc Silver became a breast cancer husband three years ago, he learned firsthand how frightened and helpless the breast cancer husband feels. He searched in vain for a book that would give him the information and advice he so desperately sought. Now this award-winning journalist has compiled just the kind of emotionally supportive and useful resource that he wished he had been... View Details


Just Get Me Through This! - Revised and Updated: A Practical Guide to Coping with Breast Cancer
by Deborah A. Cohen (Author), Robert M. Gelfand M.D. (Author)

You Can Get Through This

Your doctor told you it was breast cancer. So now what?! You'll need plenty of essential advice--the kind that only comes from someone who's been there.

In Just Get Me Through This! Deborah A. Cohen and Robert M. Gelfand, M.D. help you deal with all the ups and downs of the breast cancer experience. From the shock of diagnosis to getting through treatment to getting on with your life, they pack it with plenty of straight talk and practical tips. This newly updated edition also includes advice from two prominent breast cancer... View Details


The Breast: Comprehensive Management of Benign and Malignant Diseases, 5e
by Kirby I. Bland MD (Author), Edward M. Copeland III MD (Author), V. Suzanne Klimberg MD PhD (Author), William J Gradishar MD (Author)

Now in a single, convenient volume, The Breast: Comprehensive Management of Benign and Malignant Diseases, 5th Edition covers every clinically relevant aspect of the field: cancer, congenital abnormalities, hormones, reconstruction, anatomy and physiology, benign breast disease, and more. Building upon the strengths of previous editions, this updated volume by Drs. Kirby I. Bland, Edward M. Copeland III, V. Suzanne Klimberg, and William J Gradishar, includes the latest innovations in breast cancer detection and treatment in a practical, easy-to-use format ideal for... View Details


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

The updated edition of the essential resource for the 250,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer each year

Breast 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... View Details


The Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer Book
by the breast-health experts at Mayo Clinic Cancer Ce (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... View Details


The New Generation Breast Cancer Book: How to Navigate Your Diagnosis and Treatment Options-and Remain Optimistic-in an Age of Information Overload
by Dr. Elisa Port (Author)

From an expert in the field comes the definitive guide to managing breast cancer in the information age—a comprehensive resource for diagnosis, treatment, and peace of mind.
 
The breast cancer cure rate is at an all-time high, and so is the information, to say nothing of the misinformation, available to patients and their families. Online searches can lead to unreliable sources, leaving even the most resilient patient feeling uneasy and uncertain about her diagnosis, treatment options, doctors, side effects, and recovery. Adding to a patient’s anxiety is input from... View Details

Best Science Podcasts 2017

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2017. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Manipulation
We think we're the ones who control what we see, read, think and remember. But is that true? Who decides? And who should decide? This hour, TED speakers reveal just how easily we can be manipulated. Guests include design ethicist Tristan Harris, MSNBC host Ali Velshi, psychologist Elizabeth Loftus, and neuroscientist Steve Ramirez.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#443 Batteries
This week on Science for the People we take a deep dive into modern batteries: how they work now and how they might work in the future. We speak with Gerbrand Ceder from UC Berkeley, about the most commonly used batteries today, how they work, and how they could work better. And we talk with Kathryn Toghill, electrochemist from Lancaster University, about redox flow batteries and how they could help make our power grids more sustainable.