Metastatic Breast Cancer

Metastatic breast cancer cells turn on stem cell genes

It only takes seconds: one cancerous cell breaks off from a tumor, slips into the bloodstream and quickly lodges elsewhere in the body. These colonizers may bloom into deadly metastatic cancer right away or lie dormant for ...

Sep 23, 2015
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DNA methylation test might predict breast cancer relapse

Every woman successfully treated for breast cancer lives with the knowledge that it could come back. New research published today in the journal Clinical Epigenetics may lead to a simple blood test to determine the risk of ...

Sep 17, 2015
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Errant gene turns cells into mobile cancer factories

A single stem cell has the potential to generate an animal made of millions of different types of cells. Some cancers contain stem-like but abnormal cells that can act like mini factories to rapidly churn out not only more ...

Sep 10, 2015
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New drug targets the source of cancer renewal

A new class of drug that reduces cancer recurrence and spread may soon be available, with South Australian biopharmaceutical company Bionomics having passed review by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with their product ...

Sep 25, 2015
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Arteries better than veins for liquid biopsy

As the field of liquid biopsies for tracking disease progression and therapeutic response heats up, many doctors are looking for ways to apply this approach to their patients. Currently, assays for circulating tumor cells ...

Sep 24, 2015
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When cancer makes its way to the brain

Only half of brain cancers actually start in the brain. The rest—as in the case of former President Jimmy Carter—are metastatic tumors from cancer that originated elsewhere in the body.

Aug 27, 2015
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Metastatic breast cancer is a stage of breast cancer where the disease has spread to distant metastases. It is a complication of primary breast cancer, usually occurring several years after resection of the primary breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer cells frequently differ from the preceding primary breast cancer in properties such as receptor status, have often developed resistance to several lines of previous treatment and acquired special properties that permit them metastasize to distant sites, making them especially dangerous. The prognosis is often poor, distant metastases are the cause of about 90% of deaths due to breast cancer.

Breast cancer primarily metastasizes to the bone, lungs, regional lymph nodes, liver and brain, with the most common site being the bone. Lymph node metastsasis into the sentinel node and few surrounding nodes is regarded as a treatable local event and not metastatic breast cancer, both when occurring at primary presentation or later.

Typical environmental barriers in a metastatic event include physical (a basement membrane), chemical (reactive oxygen species or ROS, hypoxia and low pH) and biological (immune surveillance, inhibitory cytokines and regulatory extra-cellular matrix (ECM) peptides) components. Organ-specific anatomic considerations also influence metastasis; these include blood-flow patterns from the primary tumor and the homing ability of cancer cells to certain tissues. The targeting by cancer cells of specific organs is probably regulated by chemo-attractant factors and adhesion molecules produced by the target organ, along with cell-surface receptors expressed by the tumor cells.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

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