Proteins mark metastasizing breast cancer cells

Share this article:

Researchers have identified a novel signature of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from breast cancer that metastasize to the brain and that may not be detected by the method of identification cleared by the FDA.

The FDA-approved CellSearch platform is based on the detection of antibodies that target the epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM), according to a statement from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. But the biomarkers identified by Dario Marchetti, who is a pathologist at Baylor, and colleagues are present in CTCs that are EpCAM-negative, and as such, would not be detected by CellSearch.

The four brain metastasis selected markers (BMSMs) identified by Marchetti's team are human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), heparanase (HPSE), and Notch1. These four proteins were already known to be associated with cancer metastasis. Now, this pattern of proteins has been found to spell out the signature of CTCs that metastasize to the brain.

“CTC lines expressing the BMSM signature were highly invasive and capable of generating brain and lung metastases when xenografted [in mice],” affirmed Marchetti's group in Science Translational Medicine (2013;5[180]:180ra48). “The presence of proteins of the BMSM CTC signature was also detected in the metastatic lesions of animals.”

Identifying and understanding the characteristics of CTCs are initial steps in developing new treatments for metastatic disease. Marchetti noted in the Baylor statement that he and his fellow investigators are not claiming that these biomarkers are the only important ones; the investigators are continuing to search for novel markers in brain metastasis that will make diagnosis and monitoring even more targeted.

             

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of ONA to post a comment.

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters


What is this?

Regimen and Drug Listings

GET FULL LISTINGS OF TREATMENT Regimens and Drug INFORMATION

Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Genitourinary Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Rare Cancers Regimens
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs

More in Web Exclusives

Support team aids decision-making by caregivers of terminal cancer patients

Researchers devised an intervention that quickly integrates a cancer support team to guide caregivers and their patients through difficult end-of-life treatment and decisions.

Protein inhibition opens door for pancreatic cancer treatment

The protein galectin-1 has been identified as a possible therapeutic target for pancreatic cancer; new research has demonstrated that inhibiting this protein in mice with pancreatic cancer increased survival by 20%.

Noninvasive advanced image analysis may improve care for lung cancer patients

Lung cancer patients could receive more precise treatment, and their progress could be better tracked by using a new high-tech method of non-invasive medical imaging analysis, according to a new study.