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Metastasis stem cells in the blood of breast cancer patients discovered
Date:4/22/2013

of CTCs does not. In addition, patients with very high numbers of triple-positive cells had particularly high numbers of metastases and a much poorer prognosis than women in whom only few of these metastasis-inducing cells were detected. "On the whole, triple-positive cells seem to have a substantially higher biological relevance for disease progression than previously studied CTCs," Andreas Schneeweiss explains. The researchers plan to confirm these new results in a large study.

Andreas Trumpp considers it good news that the two proteins CD47 and MET are the ones characterizing metastasis-initiating cells. Therapeutic antibodies targeting CD47 to inhibit its functions are already being developed. A substance inhibiting the activity of the MET receptor has already been approved and shows good effectiveness for treating a certain type of lung cancer. The substance may also help breast cancer patients with detectable metastasis-inducing cells. "The triple-positive cells we have found turn out to be not only a promising biomarker of disease progression in breast cancer but also a prospect for potential new therapeutic approaches for treating advanced breast cancer," says Andreas Trumpp.


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Contact: Dr. Sibylle Kohlstädt
s.kohlstaedt@dkfz.de
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert

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