MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: Smart Therapies For Breast, Ovarian Cancer

Back to breast cancer blog Blogs list Cancer blog  


Subscribe To Breast Cancer Blog RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

Smart Therapies For Breast, Ovarian Cancer

Smart  Therapies For Breast, Ovarian Cancer
New non-toxic and targeted therapies for metastatic breast and ovary cancers may now be possible, thanks to a discovery by a team of scientists at the University of British Columbia.

In a collaboration between UBC stem cell and cancer scientists, it was observed that a protein called podocalyxin which the scientists had previously shown to be a predictor of metastatic breast cancer changes the shape and adhesive quality of tumour cells, affecting their ability to grow and metastasize. Metastatic cancer is invasive cancer that spreads from the original site to other sites in the body.

The discovery demonstrated that the protein not only predicted the spread of breast cancer cells, it likely helped to cause it. The findings were recently published online by the Public Library of Science.

"We believe weve found a new important culprit in metastatic breast cancer, which opens up an entirely new avenue of cancer research," says Calvin Roskelley, an associate professor of cellular and physiological science who specializes in breast cancer and is co-senior principal investigator. "The culprit is hiding in plain sight on the surface of tumour cells, so we are now developing "smart" molecules to block its function. The ultimate goal is to generate new targeted, non-toxic therapys very different from the standard slash and burn chemotherapy".

The scientists observed that podocalyxin significantly expands the non-adhesive face of cells, allowing individual cells to brush aside adhesion molecules situated between tumour cells. The "freed" cells then move away from the original site to form new tumours at other sites. Also, the protein causes tumour cells to sprout microvilli, or hair-like projections, that may help propel cancer cells to other sites.

In addition, when the protein expands the non-adhesive face of cells it drags along with it a second protein called NHERF-1 a protein shown by others to be implicated in cell growth and invasion. The scientists.

now believe the mechanism applies to difficult-to-treat invasive breast and ovary cancers.

"Were now tapping into what causes the characteristic cell shape changes seen in malignant tumours and possibly how these cells grow and metastasize. It gives us a whole new target for treatment," says Assoc. Prof. of Medical Genetics and stem cell expert Kelly McNagny, co-senior principal investigator. "If we can block the protein, we may be able to stop the spread of cells."

Post-doctoral Fellow Julie Nielsen, of UBCs Biomedical Research Centre, and PhD student Marcia Graves of the Dept. of Cellular and Physical Sciences, were instrumental in designing and executing the research experiments, he adds.

Next steps involve advancing the research in animal models, designing antibodies to block the function of the protein and working with the UBC-based Centre for Drug Research and Development to identify new therapies to combat metastasizing cancer.

The scientists say information from this discovery may speed development of new therapies to within 10 years.

In 2006, more than 22,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer and 5,300 died of it, as per estimates from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that approximately 2,300 new cases of ovary cancer were diagnosed and about 1,600 women died from the disease in 2006.


Posted by: Janet    Source




Did you know?
New non-toxic and targeted therapies for metastatic breast and ovary cancers may now be possible, thanks to a discovery by a team of scientists at the University of British Columbia. In a collaboration between UBC stem cell and cancer scientists, it was observed that a protein called podocalyxin which the scientists had previously shown to be a predictor of metastatic breast cancer changes the shape and adhesive quality of tumour cells, affecting their ability to grow and metastasize. Metastatic cancer is invasive cancer that spreads from the original site to other sites in the body.

Medicineworld.org: Smart Therapies For Breast, Ovarian Cancer

BREAST CANCER MAIN| Home| Breast cancer news| Common terms| Breast cancer treatment| Breast cancer treatment by stage| Mammogram and breast cancer screening| Surgical treatment of breast cancer| Chemotherapy of breast cancer| Chemo drugs used in breast cancer| Doxorubicin| Cyclophosphamide| Methotrexate| Hormonal therapy of breast cancer| Radiation therapy of breast cancer| Monoclonal therapy| High dose chemotherapy for breast cancer| Recurrent breast cancer| Bisphosphonates and breast cancer| Pregnancy and breast cancer| Risk factors for breast cancer| Risk details| My risk| Comprehensive breast cancer information| Breast cancer statistics| African Americans and breast cancer| Ashkenazi and breast cancer| Asians| Hispanic| Men| Native Americans| Older women and breast cancer| Younger women| Pregnant women and breast cancer| BRCA|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.