Chemoprevention biomarker for breast cancer identified

Nov 08, 2010

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have identified a possible biomarker for measuring progress in breast cancer chemoprevention trials, according to data presented at the Ninth Annual AACR Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, held here Nov. 7-10, 2010.

Although treatments are constantly being tested, the progress in chemoprevention has been slower because of a lack of reasonable outcomes that can be measured, according to lead researcher Victoria Seewaldt, M.D., director of the prevention program at the Duke University Comprehensive Cancer Center.

"No one expects to get cancer, so we can't measure the rate of people who do not get cancer as a measure of success," said Seewaldt. "The trials would need to be at least 20,000 patients. By identifying this , we can set up trials that would need only 200 patients."

Seewaldt and colleagues tested for signaling in breast cells from women at high risk for breast cancer. This analysis identified three signaling pathways that would indicate increased risk of breast cancer: Akt/mTOR/PI3K/cSrc, EGFR/MEK/ERK and HER2/bcl-2. Drugs that could lower the rate of these molecular signals could, therefore, prevent increased risk of breast cancer.

"One of the great struggles of chemoprevention is that we cannot crack what happens inside the breast," said Seewaldt. "Using protein signaling, we will be able to figure out which pathways are active before and after a chemoprevention agent."

Explore further: Research may explain how foremost anticancer 'guardian' protein learned to switch sides

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

No need for gene screens in breast cancer families

Jul 23, 2008

Research reported today should provide relief to women who are worried after a relative's breast cancer diagnosis. The study in the open access journal BMC Cancer shows that a family history of breast cancer does not give a ...

'Bridge' protein spurs deadliest stages of breast cancer

Feb 22, 2007

A protein known for its ability to "bridge" interactions between other cellular proteins may spur metastasis in breast cancer, the disease’s deadliest stage, a study from Burnham Institute for Medical Research has found.

Recommended for you

Generation of tanners see spike in deadly melanoma

5 hours ago

(AP)—Stop sunbathing and using indoor tanning beds, the acting U.S. surgeon general warned in a report released Tuesday that cites an alarming 200 percent jump in deadly melanoma cases since 1973.

Penn team makes cancer glow to improve surgical outcomes

5 hours ago

The best way to cure most cases of cancer is to surgically remove the tumor. The Achilles heel of this approach, however, is that the surgeon may fail to extract the entire tumor, leading to a local recurrence.

Cancer: Tumors absorb sugar for mobility

17 hours ago

Cancer cells are gluttons. We have long known that they monopolize large amounts of sugar. More recently, it became clear that some tumor cells are also characterized by a series of features such as mobility or unlikeliness ...

User comments : 0