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Protein snapshots reveal clues to breast cancer outcomes
Date:5/5/2011

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 fut
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Contact: Vanessa Pavinato
media@esmo.org
European Society for Medical Oncology
Source:Eurekalert

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