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Medicineworld.org: Estrogen Receptor Metastatic Breast Cancer Link

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Estrogen Receptor Metastatic Breast Cancer Link

Estrogen Receptor Metastatic Breast Cancer Link
Breast cancer awareness month may have passed, but scientists remain focused on the disease with a new study showing that a unique estrogen receptor found in breast cancer tumors is a predictor of tumor size and metastases. The study, led by scientists at Rhode Island Hospital and Brown Medical School, is reported in the November 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

"We observed that a novel estrogen receptor, termed GPR30, is associated with breast tumor progression and increased tumor size,"says lead author Edward J. Filardo, PhD, research associate at Rhode Island Hospital and assistant professor at Brown Medical School. "Furthermore, the results support previous research suggesting that GPR30 acts independently from the two known estrogen receptors, ERƒÑ and ERƒÒ."

Estrogen receptors act like ears on a breast cancer cell ¡V estrogen attaches to the receptor and transmits signals that tells the cell to grow and multiply. Physicians test for receptors to help determine the most appropriate therapy for patients with breast cancer. Typically, the more estrogen receptors present, the more likely the patient will respond to hormone treatment, such as tamoxifen.

However, approximately one in four patients that test positive for estrogen receptors, do not respond to hormone treatment prompting researchers to propose that there may be additional types of estrogen receptors that play a role tumor growth. Filardo and co-author Jeffrey Quinn, PhD, first identified GPR30 as a potential alternate estrogen receptor capable of triggering breast cancer cell growth in 2000.

In an effort to further refine the classification of GPR30, scientists in this study analyzed 361 tumor samples from patients with breast cancer to compare the distribution patterns of standard estrogen receptors (ER) and GPR30. They examined how the various estrogen receptors linked to each other and their relationship with size of the primary breast tumor, lymph node invasion, and development of metastasis.

Results showed that while the two types of receptors, GPR30 and the standard ERs, were usually found together - their expression was not interdependent. This was best evidenced by the fact that approximately half of the ER-negative tumors remained positive for GPR30.

"This suggests that tumors traditionally viewed as being unreceptive to estrogen, may in fact, remain estrogen responsive," says co-author Edmond Sabo, MD, pathologist at Rhode Island Hospital and assistant professor at Brown Medical School. "If this is the case, it could significantly influence which patients are candidates for hormone treatment."

Scientists also observed that GPR30 was positively linked to tumor size, and that primary tumors from patients with metastatic disease were twice as likely to express GPR30.

Alternatively, an inverse relationship was measured between the standard estrogen receptors (ERƒÑ and ERƒÒ) and tumor size, and no significant association was found between receptor expression and the presence of metastatic disease.

"Our data indicates that GPR30 promotes tumor growth and is associated with metastatic disease, but also evidences GPR30's autonomy from the standard estrogen receptors," says Filardo. " It strengthens the concept that GPR30 and standard estrogen receptors promote distinct biological responses and invokes a new paradigm regarding our current understanding of breast cancer biology."

Interestingly, eventhough GPR30 was strongly linked to the development of metastatic disease, there was not a correlation between the presence of GPR30 and if breast cancer cells had invaded the lymph nodes of a patient.

"Further research is needed to determine if there is a relationship between GPR30 and lymph node invasion," says Filardo. "Given that tumor size and lymph node invasion are well-known predictors of metastases, future studies will focus on determining how cells that test positive for GPR30 spread throughout the body."


Posted by: Janet    Source




Did you know?
Breast cancer awareness month may have passed, but scientists remain focused on the disease with a new study showing that a unique estrogen receptor found in breast cancer tumors is a predictor of tumor size and metastases. The study, led by scientists at Rhode Island Hospital and Brown Medical School, is reported in the November 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

Medicineworld.org: Estrogen Receptor Metastatic Breast Cancer Link

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