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New findings in breast cancer
Date:4/18/2012

New findings in breast cancer research by an international team of scientists contradict the prevailing belief that only basal-like cells with stem cell qualities can form invasive tumors. Research led by Ole William Petersen at the University of Copenhagen (CU) and Mina Bissell of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and has shown that luminal-like cells with no detectable stem cell qualities can generate larger tumors than their basal-like counterparts. This may hold important implications for the diagnosis and the treatment of breast cancer as well as future personalized cancer medicine.

"It is fashionable to think of breast cancer as a disease that can be treated if cancer stem cells are killed off, but we are reporting a sub-population of cancer cells that have no obvious stem cell properties and yet can be tumorigenic and highly aggressive," Bissell says. "The existence of these additional sub-populations of tumorigenic cells tells us that the entire tumor needs to be eradicated, not just one sub-population of basal-like cells."

Bissell is a leading authority on breast cancer and a Distinguished Scientist with Berkeley Lab's Life Sciences Division. Petersen is a professor of Tissue Morphogenesis and Differentiation for CU's Cellular and Molecular Medicine department and a principal investigator for the Danish Stem Cell Center. They are the corresponding authors of a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that describes this work. The paper is titled "Tumor initiating but differentiated luminal-like breast cancer cells are highly invasive in the absence of basal-like activity." Other co-authors were Jiyoung Kim, Ren Villadsen, Therese Srlie, Louise Fogh, Signe Grnlund, Agla Fridriksdottir, Irene Kuhn, Fritz Rank, Vera Timmermans Wielenga, Hiroko Solvang, Paul Edwards, Anne-Lise Brresen-Dale and Lone Rnnov-Jessen.

"Our findings were a surprise to us as we had hypothesized the opposi
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Contact: Lynn Yarris
lcyarris@lbl.gov
510-486-5375
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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