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Scientists at The Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit Identify Potential New Target for Breast Cancer Therapy
Date:5/29/2009

Abstract # 25670

ORLANDO, Fla., May 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has selected new breast cancer research conducted at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit for posting on ASCO's Web site. Karmanos' potentially ground-breaking findings identify a promising new therapeutic target for aggressive hormone receptor negative breast cancer tumors.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071106/KARMANOSLOGO)

The research appears at www.ASCO.org and www.jco.org and is entitled "Enhancer of Zeste Homologue 2 (EZH-2) expression in breast cancer: a novel marker and potential target."

Karmanos scientists tested 84 cases of hormone receptor negative human breast carcinomas and discovered that the protein EZH-2 was expressed in 74 percent of those cases. Hormone receptor negative breast carcinoma is considered an aggressive cancer and one that is hard to treat. The finding suggests that EZH-2 could be an important therapeutic target in this patient population.

"We were interested in looking at a new target," said Zeina Nahleh, M.D., co-director of the Breast Oncology Multidisciplinary Team at Karmanos Cancer Institute and assistant professor of medicine in hematology and oncology at Wayne State University School of Medicine. "We wanted to see how much expression of the protein was present. We were surprised that 74 percent of tumors expressed that EZH-2 protein."

Sixty-one samples that researchers used were triple negative breast cancer cases and 23 cases were HER-2/neu positive. Scientists found that the increased expression of EZH-2 meant an increase in tumor size and an increase in lymph node metastasis.

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SOURCE Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
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