Navigation Links
Stem cell 'daughters' lead to breast cancer
Date:8/2/2009

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute scientists have found that a population of breast cells called luminal progenitor cells are likely to be responsible for breast cancers that develop in women carrying mutations in the gene BRCA1.

BRCA1 gene mutations are found in 10-20 per cent of women with hereditary breast cancer. Women with BRCA1 mutations often develop 'basal-like' breast cancer, which is a particularly aggressive form of the disease.

A team led by Associate Professors Jane Visvader and Geoff Lindeman from the institute's Victorian Breast Cancer Research Consortium Laboratory have discovered that luminal progenitor cells the 'daughters' of breast stem cells are the likely source of basal-like breast tumours. Their finding, published in today's issue of the international journal Nature Medicine, represents a major shift in the way scientists think breast cancer develops.

Dr Visvader said it had been thought in recent years that breast stem cells gave rise to BRCA1 tumours. "However, research carried out at the institute by Drs Elgene Lim and Franois Vaillant has shown that breast tissue from women with BRCA1 mutations has unexpectedly high numbers of luminal progenitor cells," she said.

"Further, our gene expression studies have revealed that BRCA1 breast tissue and basal breast tumors are more similar to normal luminal progenitor cells than any other cell type in the breast. This places the spotlight on errant luminal progenitors, rather than breast stem cells."

Dr Lindeman, who also heads the Familial Cancer Centre at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, said that now the importance of luminal progenitor cells in breast cancer was known it opened the way for the development of new drugs or therapies to treat breast cancer, one of the biggest causes of premature death in women.

"BRCA1 women have approximately a 65 per cent lifetime chance of developing breast cancer. Following surgery, treatment options available to these women are often limited to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, so identifying new treatment and prevention strategies is a priority for us," he said.

Luminal progenitor cells in women with BRCA1 mutations have 'forgotten' how to behave, Dr Lindeman said. "Usually, luminal progenitor cells multiply rapidly in the presence of certain growth factors. In BRCA1 women these cells don't even require growth factors to proliferate they misbehave from the outset.

"We also know that the BRCA1 gene is required for normal DNA repair. There may therefore be a triple whammy effect faulty growth control, faulty DNA repair and expanded luminal progenitor cell numbers ultimately resulting in breast cancer in some BRCA1 mutation carriers."

Dr Visvader said in the long-term, breast biopsies might be able to reveal misbehaving luminal progenitor cells. What's more, certain 'markers' might one day help guide diagnosis and treatment. "For example, c-KIT is a key marker of the luminal progenitor cell and I expect we will see an increase in pathologists routinely using this as a diagnostic marker for basal-like tumours," she said. "It may even be possible to develop new drugs that target c-KIT, since drugs are already available that target different forms of this marker."

Dr Lindeman said the identification of stem cells, luminal progenitor cells and other cell types in the breast was now beginning to reveal a breast cancer roadmap - highlighting cancer-prone cell types and key genetic pathways. "Hopefully this will lead to new, tailored therapies for the next generation of women."

Dr Visvader said the research had only been possible through the generous donation of breast tissue by women undergoing breast surgery, together with the support of their surgeons and pathologists. The study was facilitated by the Kathleen Cuningham Foundation Consortium for Research into Familial Breast Cancer.


'/>"/>

Contact: Penny Fannin
fannin@wehi.edu.au
61-393-452-345
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Possible drug target found for one of the most aggressive breast cancers
2. Genetic factors implicated in survival gap for breast, ovarian or prostate cancer
3. New MRI technique could mean fewer breast biopsies in high-risk women
4. Protein linked to change in tissue that surround and support breast tumors
5. Dual role in breast tissue for a protein involved in leukemia
6. Dioxins in food chain linked to breastfeeding ills
7. Wet ear wax and unpleasant body odors signal breast cancer risk
8. Breastfeeding duration and weaning diet may shape childs body composition
9. Lombardi scientist brings dream team breast cancer research effort to GUMC
10. Genetic testing for breast or ovarian cancer risk may be greatly underutilized
11. UNC study identifies genetic cause of most common form of breast cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Stem cell 'daughters' lead to breast cancer
(Date:3/23/2016)... 23, 2016 ... Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern     ... MESG ), ein führender Anbieter digitaler ... mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals dessen Biometrietechnologie ... die Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen mobiler Apps ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... , PROVO and ... -- Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO), which operates the highest ... for molecular testing, and Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders ... technology respectively, today announced the launch of a project ... sequencing (NGS) testing panel. NSO has ...
(Date:3/18/2016)... , March 18, 2016 --> ... of Biometrics, ICT, Manned & Unmanned Vehicles, Physical infrastructure and ... security companies in the border security market and the continuing ... and Europe has led visiongain to ... improved success. --> defence & security companies ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... The Ankle Plating System 3 and ... address fractures of the distal tibia and fibula. This system marks Acumed's continued ... 3 is composed of seven plate families that span the lateral, medial, and ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Lady had been battling arthritis since ... ligament in her left knee. Lady’s owner Hannah sought the help of Dr Jeff ... surgeon, to repair her cruciate ligament and help with the pain of Lady’s arthritis. ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... Media Cybernetics, ... new Media Cybernetics corporate branding reflects a results-driven revitalization for a company with ... The re-branding components include a crisp, refreshed logo and a new web presence. ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... LONDON , May 23, 2016 ... Boost Efficiency by 40% - Frontage Implement a Single ... Enforce Quality, Compliance and Traceability Within the Bioanalytical lab ... the United States and China ... deployed across its laboratory facilities. In addition to serving as the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: