Navigation Links
Researchers discover new hormone receptors to target when treating breast cancer

Boston, MA According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. For patients whose breast cancers are hormone-dependent, current treatment focuses on using drugs that block estrogen (a type of hormone) from attaching to estrogen receptors on tumor cells to prevent the cells from growing and spreading.

In a new study, first study author, Sandro Santagata, MD, PhD, Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) Department of Pathology, and senior study author Tan A. Ince MD, PhD, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (formerly of BWH Department of Pathology), along with a team of researchers from both institutions found that there are other receptors that can be targetedandrogen and vitamin D receptors.

The findings offer the possibility of expanding the ways patients with breast cancer are treated with hormone therapy.

"These findings may change how we treat breast cancer," said Santagata. "Since at least 50 percent of patients with breast cancer express all three receptorsestrogen, androgen and vitamin D in their tumor cells, this may allow clinicians to consider triple hormone treatments, which is a new concept, as opposed to treating patients by targeting only estrogen receptors."

The study published online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

When clinicians categorize human breast cancer tumors, they do so by grouping them into one of three categories based on the type of receptor present or absent on the tumor: estrogen receptor (ER positive/negative), progesterone receptor (PR positive/negative), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2 positive/negative).

In the study, the researchers explored the landscape of cells that make up the surfaces of breast tissue to provide a better definition of the subtypes of cells present on these surfaces. They studied more than 15,000 normal breast cells and discovered eleven previously undefined cell subtypes. Interestingly, these eleven normal breast cell types were categorized into four new hormonal differentiation groups (HR 0, 1, 2, 3), which were characterized by vitamin D, androgen and estrogen hormone receptor expression.

The researchers took this information and compared it against 3,157 human breast tumors of patients and found that the patients' tumor make-up were similar to one of the eleven normal cell types they discovered. Moreover, the patients had different survival rates and responses to hormone treatments depending on whether the cell types were in the HR 0, 1, 2, or 3 sub-group.

According to the researchers, the HR categories may be helpful in refining classifications presently used to classify breast cancers. Moreover, the findings open the door to the option of triple hormone treatments, which may be more effective than single hormone treatments and may help patients who are resistant to anti-estrogen treatments.

"There are many other interesting treatment opportunities that our findings may lead to," said Santagata. "For instance, early data suggest that targeting androgen and vitamin D receptors in addition to standard chemotherapy may increase effectiveness, and may allow for lower doses of chemotherapy with the same effect."

Also, according to Santagata, there are tumors called triple-negative breast carcinomas, which cannot be treated with conventional endocrine-targeted therapies. The study results suggest that two-thirds of these patients may be candidates for androgen and vitamin D-targeted hormone therapy. Perhaps equally important, researchers found that some breast tumor subtypes, such as basal-like carcinoma, have been classified erroneously due to inaccurate taxonomy of normal cell types.

"It is very exciting to show that there is a similar molecular diversity in normal breast cells and in breast cancer itself, and then to use this information to suggest interesting new therapeutic possibilities," said Santagata. "We have much more to learn about why normal breast cells are so diverse and how that information can help us better improve the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of breast cancer patients."


Contact: Jessica M Maki
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Related medicine news :

1. Kessler Foundation MS researchers study predictors of employment status
2. RI Hospital researchers identify components in C. diff that may lead to better treatment
3. Researchers create database to examine vast resources of health legacy foundations
4. UC Irvine stem cell researchers awarded $1.54 million in state funding
5. Researchers find novel approach for controlling deadly C. difficile infections
6. Researchers open door to new HIV therapy
7. Researchers find changes to protein SirT1
8. Researchers use sensory integration model to understand unconscious priming
9. CWRU researchers find epileptic activity spreads in new way
10. IU School of Medicine researchers awarded $300,000 GE/NFL grant to study concussions
11. UGA researchers discover origin of unusual glands in the body
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Healthjump, Inc. announced ... a Healthcare IT consulting, development and support company. The purchase will expand the ... within DataTrade to extend the services currently provided by Healthjump. , ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... BAR, CALIF. (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Inc. ( ), a leading provider of enterprise Time and Attendance/Workforce ... Partner status in the Microsoft Partner Program with competencies in the Application ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... in 2016. In 2016, expected coding changes are likely to include new codes ... codes. It’s not easy to understand the effects of code changes in musculoskeletal, ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... Orion, Clarkston, Metamora, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Women's Excellence is once again accredited by the American Institute of Ultrasound ... process that allows practices to demonstrate that they meet or exceed nationally ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... November 29, 2015 , ... While conventional walkers afford considerable help with mobility, ... exercise weights. Fortunately, an inventor from Uniontown, Pa., has found a way to address ... benefits of a standard walker to improve the user’s quality of life. To begin ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... , November 27, 2015 ... set to go online. The potential to save costs, ... vast and far from fully exploited as yet. Here, ... health records, either via mobile tablet or directly at ... --> ) -->      ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... -- Research and Markets ( ) has announced ... 2015-2019" report to their offering. ... the author the present scenario and growth prospects of ... the market size, the report considers revenue generated from ... and copper IUDs. The report forecasts the global intrauterine ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Países Bajos, November 26, 2015 ... la terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para el cáncer avanzado. ... la inmunoterapia con la terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para ... Un nuevo enfoque combina la inmunoterapia con la terapia ... Clinical Cancer Research . --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: