Biomarker family found for chemo resistant breast cancers

Biomarkers which could help to predict resistance to chemotherapy in breast cancer patients have been identified by researchers from the University of Hull, UK.

The researchers found a family of proteins to be twice as prevalent in clinical samples obtained from who were resistant to chemotherapy than those who were successfully treated.

Chemotherapy resistance is a major problem for some types of and many patients undergo treatment that does not work, delaying other more suitable treatments and subjecting the patient to adverse side effects in the process.

Published online in the Journal of Proteomics, the Hull research identifies a number of potential biomarkers associated with resistance to common , including epirubicin and .

Lead researcher Dr Lynn Cawkwell, says: "A major goal in cancer research is to be able to predict the response of a patient to chemotherapy. Unfortunately, a reliable test has not yet been developed to achieve this. We hope our work can help to bring us a step closer.

"Most of my work uses clinical samples instead of cell lines, thanks to the links I have with oncologists and surgeons at Castle Hill Hospital in Hull. Studying clinical samples gives a more accurate representation of what is relevant in real-life diseases."

The project used two high-throughput processes to screen clinical samples of breast tumour tissue.

One screening method using antibodies identified 38 proteins that were twice as prevalent in samples from patients who were resistant to chemotherapy than those who were successfully treated. The other used and uncovered 57 potential biomarkers of which five belong to the 14-3-3 .

The findings from both screening methods highlight the possible importance of proteins from the 14-3-3 family and their potential for development into a predictive test for clinical use. Dr Cawkwell's team hope to investigate the protein family's role more fully in chemotherapy resistance.

"If we're correct, we hope that by testing for these proteins, doctors will be able to anticipate a patient's response to different chemotherapies, and decide which course of treatment is most appropriate for them," she says.

Dr Cawkwell's team is continuing with this study, as well as investigating radiotherapy resistance in a number of different cancers.

More information: J Proteomics 2012 April 3 [epub ahead of print] Pilot and feasibility study: comparative proteomic analysis by 2-DE MALDI TOF/TOF MS reveals 14-3-3 proteins as putative biomarkers of response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in ER-positive breast cancer

J Proteomics. 2012 Feb 2;75(4):1276-83 Proteomic identification of predictive biomarkers of resistance to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in luminal breast cancer: A possible role for 14-3-3 theta/tau and tBID? Hodgkinson VC, Elfadl D, Agarwal V, Garimella V, Russell C, Long ED, Fox JN, McManus PL, Mahapatra TK, Kneeshaw PJ, Drew PJ, Lind MJ, Cawkwell L.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

DNA blood test detects lung cancer mutations

date 12 hours ago

Cancer DNA circulating in the bloodstream of lung cancer patients can provide doctors with vital mutation information that can help optimise treatment when tumour tissue is not available, an international group of researchers ...

Tumors prefer the easy way out

date 15 hours ago

Tumor cells become lethal when they spread. Blocking this process can be a powerful way to stop cancer. Historically, scientists thought that tumor cells migrated by brute force, actively pushing through whatever ...

Brain tumors may be new targets of Ebola-like virus

date 15 hours ago

Brain tumors are notoriously difficult for most drugs to reach, but Yale researchers have found a promising but unlikely new ally against brain cancers—portions of a deadly virus similar to Ebola.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.