Navigation Links
Protein snapshots reveal clues to breast cancer outcomes

Measuring the transfer of tiny amounts of energy from one protein to another on breast cancer cells has given scientists a detailed view of molecular interactions that could help predict how breast cancer patients will respond to particular therapies.

At the IMPAKT Breast Cancer Conference in Brussels, Dr Gargi Patel from the Richard Dimbleby Department, King's College London, described cutting-edge research in which she and colleagues captured detailed information about protein interactions on cancer cells, and correlated that with established genetic markers for cancer spread.

Dr Patel's group used a microscope technique known as Foerster resonance energy transfer (FRET) imaging, which allows them to measure the interactions between two proteins.

In this technique, each of the proteins is labeled with a fluorescent tag --one might be labeled green and the other red, for example. A laser is used to excite one of these labels, which becomes excited and then decays back to its rest state in a specific lifetime, which the researchers define as its fluorescent lifetime.

When this label comes within a nanometer of the second label, exciting by the laser causes some of its energy to be donated to the other label, and the fluorescent lifetime of the first label becomes shorter. "In the context of our work, this process only occurs when two proteins are close enough to be interacting, and hence we can quantitate protein-protein interactions," Dr Patel explains.

In earlier work, Dr Patel's group used this technique on breast cancer cells in the lab to describe in detail the interaction between the cell-surface molecules Her2 and Her3 that is known to determine whether a cancer will respond to the drug lapatinib.

"We aim to establish a 'signature' representing functional molecular biology, by examining protein-protein interactions, and to correlate this signature with established prognostic gene signatures and clinical and radiological data to predict patient outcome in terms of likelihood of recurrence and response to treatment such as lapatinib," Dr Patel explains. "The results we present at IMPAKT are the start of this work."

"The work I am doing captures images of the molecular state of Her2-Her3 receptors as a dimer, and shows us the results of lapatinib treatment. We have also identified a specific mutation in Her2, which reduces dimerization and the lapatinib effect. We can test tumor samples for this Her2 mutation, which would confer resistance to treatment."

This technology could have a significant clinical impact, the researchers say, by improving the accuracy of predictions about a cancer's risk of spread or response to treatment.

"Currently our methods of prognosis estimation depend on clinical data such as tumor size and lymph node status, or upon correlation with genetic signatures which may delineate tumors with higher metastatic potential. However the accuracy of any single method is far from 100%. We aim to add to the tools available by introducing a signature reflecting the functional state of cancer cells, by assessing protein-protein interactions. We could integrate this information with genetic and clinical data to more accurately predict outcome," Dr Patel said.

Commenting on the study, which he was not involved in, Dr Stephen Johnston, from Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust & Institute of Cancer Research, noted: "Lapatinib is a novel drug to target Her2 positive breast cancer, and works in a different way to the established monoclonal antibody trastuzumab."

"It is recognized that other growth factor receptors in breast cancer such as Her3 can modulate how Her2 positive tumors respond, often making them resistant to trastuzumab. In contrast, these researchers have developed as assay to measure Her2/Her3 heterodimers and the molecular pathways that they activate in human tumors, and suggest that in future this assay could be used to predict for response to lapatinib in the clinic."


Contact: Vanessa Pavinato
European Society for Medical Oncology

Related medicine news :

1. New and Delicious, Almond Butter Filled, Cookie Bites With 35.7% Protein to Help Manage Weight and Build Muscle
2. Research highlights role of protein pair in obesity regulation
3. Urine protein test might help diagnose kidney damage from lupus, UT Southwestern researchers find
4. Smithfield, United Food and Commercial Workers Union, and Food Networks Paula Deen to Deliver 150,000 Servings of Protein to San Francisco Food Bank
5. Protein Sciences Corporation Announces Profitable and Cash Flow Positive Results for 2009 and Management Realignment
6. Protein Appears Key to Intestinal Balance
7. SIBLING proteins may predict oral cancer
8. Damaged protein identified as early diagnostic biomarker for Alzheimers disease in healthy adults
9. Cells of aggressive leukemia hijack normal protein to grow
10. Omega Protein Comments on California Lawsuit Alleging Fish Oil Contaminants
11. Proteins May Predict Spread of Colon Cancer
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... Oklahoma (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... both athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures ... Oklahoma City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic ... many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping ... released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law ... magazine’s 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are ... , Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their pencils ... an essay contest in which patients and their families pay tribute to a genetic ... 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... feeding the Frederick area economy by obtaining investment capital for emerging technology companies. ... 2½ years that have already resulted in more than a million dollars of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Arkis BioSciences, a ... invasive and more durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today ... The Series-A funding is led by Innova Memphis, ... and other private investors.  Arkis, new financing will ... and the market release of its in-licensed Endexo® ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. , June 23, 2016 ... faced the many challenges of the current process. Many of ... option because of the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs ... would have to offer it at such a high cost ... to afford it. Dr. Parsa Zadeh , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced ... BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing solution ... this clearance, Roche is the first IVD company in ... sepsis risk assessment and management. PCT is ... levels in blood can aid clinicians in assessing the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: