Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Potential new therapeutic target for breast cancer

A new publication in the journal Clinical Cancer Research reports on the genetic characterization of classic lobular carcinomas (CLCs), a type of tumour that accounts for 10-15% of all breast cancers. These tumours show a disappointing response to current forms of treatment (chemotherapy and endocrine therapy, since most of the tumours express estrogen receptors), so a team of researchers led by the Institute of Cancer Research set out to perform an analysis of their molecular genetic features, with a view to seeking potential alternative targets for therapy. Thirteen typical tumour samples were profiled for gene expression using a variety of techniques, leading to the identification of a genomic region that is amplified in the CLCs. From within this region, the gene FGFR1 was found to be over-expressed; this gene encodes the fibroblast growth factor receptor one, which is a cellular signalling molecule. A breast cancer cell line was identified that showed the same molecular genetic and expression profiles as the CLCs (despite its reported original derivation from a different type of tumour, a ductal carcinoma); inhibition of FGFR1 expression using either small interfering RNA (siRNA) or achemical inhibitor caused reduced survival of this cell line, but not of control cell lines.The researchers therefore concluded that FGFR1 signalling contributes tothe survival of classic lobular carcinomas cells, and possibly also to ductal carcinoma cells, and that it may therefore represent a useful therapeutic target for FGFR1-positive breast cancers. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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