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Iron-regulating protein is strong predictor of breast cancer prognosis, study shows
Date:8/4/2010

n human breast cancer tissue. As predicted, they found that ferroportin levels were lowest in the most aggressive areas of cancer, confirming that the relationship does not only occur in cell culture and isolated breast cancer cells, but also in the actual tissue of women with cancer.

So, the Tortis and their team, including Lance D. Miller, Ph.D., a bioinformatics expert, proceeded to explore four large study databases of breast cancer patients to see if ferroportin levels in human breast cancer were associated with long-term outcomes. The data included gene expression information at the time of diagnosis and multi-year clinical follow-up for more than 800 breast cancer patients from around the world.

"Uniformly, we found that ferroportin levels were a strong predictor of the propensity for a woman's breast cancer to recur," Frank Torti said. "It's a striking prediction. This marker separates women into good and poor prognostic groups independently from any other factors such as tumor size, grade, lymph node status, or other conditions."

The researchers' next step, he added, will be to extend their results to larger populations that include women of various ethnicities and demographics.

"We are excited that we, and our Cancer Center, have made a discovery that not only increases our understanding of the basic biology of breast cancer, but may eventually be directly useful in treating patients," Frank Torti said.


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Contact: Jessica Guenzel
jguenzel@wfubmc.edu
336-716-3487
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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